Peterson Air Force Base (IATA code: COS) is a military air force base situated near El Paso county of Colorado, US. The base shares its runways with the nearby City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport under a joint civil-military agreement. It is owned and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF).

A 12,500ft2 C-130 operations centre is being constructed at the base to combine the 52nd airlift squadron and 731st airlift squadron under one building.

Construction began in February 2011 and is expected to be completed by 2012 at a cost of $5.6m.

Peterson Air Force Base history

The Peterson Air Force Base was built in May 1942 under the name of Colorado Springs Army Air Base (CSAAB).

It was constructed adjacent to the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport to execute photo reconnaissance training.

“The base shares its runways with the nearby City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport.”

CSAAB was assigned to the second air force in June 1942. It was renamed as Peterson Army Air Base (PAAB) in December 1942 in honour of First Lieutenant Edward J. Peterson who died in a P-38 Lightning aircraft crash at the CSAAB airfield in August 1942.

PAAB was assigned to the continental air forces in April 1945. The base became inactive in December 1945 and its control was transferred to the City of Colorado Springs. It was reactivated in January 1951 and was finally renamed as Peterson Air Force Base in March 1976.

Design and construction of the US airbase

Bryan Construction will build a new temporary dental clinic and refurbish the existing clinic under the design-build multiple award task order contract (MATOC).The project will be carried out in five phases.

A new dental facility will be built at Pete East during the first phase. The second phase will include demolishing the existing mechanical room and constructing new rest rooms in building 929.

The third phase will renovate the former dental clinic in building 929. In the fourth phase, the company will overhaul the flight medicine clinic in building 929. Renovation of the public health clinic and family practice will be carried out in the fifth phase.

Edward-James Surveying carried out the construction survey of the arrival departure airfield control group (ADACG) and infield military operational surface (IMOS) apron at a cost of $15m. The first survey began in February 2006 and was completed in November 2007.

The ADACG facility worth $23.9m was built at the base as part of the US Army Corps of Engineers project. The US military utilises the space inside the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport to build IMOS.

A 40,000ft² fitness centre was built at the base at a cost of $10m to $15m. Another $4m was funded by the AFSPC in July 2010 to overhaul the fitness centre. Overhauling work encompassed locker room renovation, repairing equipment and resurfacing running tracks and fences.

The chapel was renovated at the COS in August 2010 at a cost of $240,000.

The renovation of the Aragon dining facility began in April 2010 at a cost of $1.8m. The facility is equipped with a new heating, ventilating and air conditioning unit. It was inaugurated in August 2010.

PCL was awarded a $14.4m contract by the US Army Corps of Engineers in December 2010 to build a space education and training centre (SETC) which will train more than 2,200 space professionals. The SETC is scheduled to be opened in 2012.

Garrison facilities at the Colorado base

The Peterson Air Force Base serves as the headquarters for Norad (North American Aerospace Defence Command), US northcom (United States Northern Command), 21st space wing (21 SW) and 302nd airlift wing (302 AW).

“Construction began in February 2011 and is expected to be completed by 2012 at a cost of $5.6m.”

The 21st SW was organised into six groups including 21st operations group, 21st medical group, 21st mission support group, 21st maintenance group, 721st mission support group and 821st air base group. It was activated in May 1992 to render missile warnings and space control operations.

The 302AW was activated at the base in 1985 to execute military flight operations. Being part of an Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC), the 302 AW was categorised into three groups: 302nd operations group, 302nd maintenance group and 302nd mission support group.

Air Facilities

The base can accommodate more than 292 military and civilian aircraft including C-130H Hercules, P-38 Lightning, B-24 Liberator and P-40 Warhawks. It features three runways. The first runway is 4,115m long and surfaced with concrete. The lengths of second and third runways, paved with asphalt, are 3,360m and 2,520m respectively.

The COS offers temporary lodging, fighter pilot training, single and family housing, recreation, medical care and child care facilities.

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