Scott Air Force Base (IATA code: BLA) is situated 20km east of St. Louis near Belleville, Illinois, in the US. It is owned and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). The base has been sharing its runway with MidAmerica St. Louis Airport since November 1997. About 68,500 personnel reside at the base.
History of the base
A new airfield was built on a 624 acre (252.5ha) site in April 1917 during World War I. It was named as Scott Field in the honour of maiden enlisted person Corporal Frank S. Scott who died in an aircraft crash. The Scott Field became operational in September 1917. The squadrons assigned to the field were inactivated in November 1918.
The Scott Field was acquired by the War Department in 1919 and made the general headquarters of the USAF in June 1938. The buildings and wooden barracks were demolished and new facilities, such as administration buildings, family quarters, barracks and hangars were built to meet the USAF’s needs. The construction had cost $7.5m.
The control over Scott Field was transferred to the Army Air Corps in June 1939. The field was designated as the communication training centre of the USAF in August 1941. About 160 new buildings, cantonment areas and an induction centre were built at the field at a cost of $1.7m. The field was renamed as Scott Air Force Base in late 1941.
Design and construction of Scott Air Force Base
A $14m modernisation programme commenced at the base in 1952. It involved the building of quarters for bachelor officers and non- commissioned officers, training areas and warehouse complex.
In February 2008 River City Construction was contracted to construct a new 180,000ft2 US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) facility at the base. The three-storey building was built backside of the existing USTRANSCOM headquarters building at a cost of $93.6m.
It incorporates joint intelligence operations centre-transportation and renders a permanent facility for the US Army Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC). Construction began in April 2008 and was completed in March 2010.
The 932nd Airlift Wing (932 AW) operations building was built at the base by K&S Associates in February 2010. The 52,117ft2, two-storey building was constructed at a cost of $11m. It renders storage components for the logistics support contractor and conciliates new mission and staffing for the C-9C and C-40C aircraft.
AECOM Technology was contracted in October 2010 to renovate the runway and taxiway pavements at the base. Work is scheduled for completion in 2011.
Charpie-Korte joint venture started construction of a 21,500ft2 aeromedical evacuation complex at the base in November 2010 as part of a $6m contract signed with the US Department of Defence in May 2010.
Garrison facilities at the North American base
The base serves as the headquarters of 375th Air Mobility Wing (375 AMW), 932 AW and 126th Air Refuelling Wing (126 ARW).
The 375 AMW, which was activated in 1966, executes aeromedical evacuation operations, operational support airlift and passenger or cargo transportation. It is organised into four groups namely the 375th Operations Group, 375th Mission Support Group, 375th Medical Group and 375th Communications Group.
The 932 AW was activated in November 1957 to accomplish airlift and air drops of troops. It is organised into four groups, including the 932nd Operations Group, 932nd Maintenance Group, 932nd Mission Support Group and 932nd Medical Group. The 126 ARW was activated at the base in July 1999 to offer air refuelling support to the USAF.
Other military units deployed at the base include Air Mobility Command, Eighteenth Air Force, Air Force Global Logistics Support Centre, Air Force Network Integration Centre and Defence Information Technology Contracting Organization.
The base has two runways paved with concrete. The lengths of the runways are 3,048m and 2,439m respectively. The runways can accommodate C-21 Learjets, C-9 Nightengale, C-12F and KC-135R air refuelling aircraft.
The base offers pilot training, logistics support, aircraft maintenance, education, temporary lodging, accommodation, child care and medical care facilities. It features 1,593 housing units to accommodate military personnel.
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