US Army, April 25, 2013 - By Colorado National Guard Public Affairs - CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The Colorado Army National Guard will cut the ribbon at a new state-of-the-art aviation training facility at the Eagle County Airport near Gypsum, Colo., April 26 at 10:30 a.m. The $39 million facility will be the new home of the High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site.
The project provided an immense economic benefit to the Vail Valley bringing more than 700 jobs totaling just under $8 million.
Colorado National Guard senior leaders and civic leaders are scheduled to attend.
Planning for the new facility started in 2005 and was done in close coordination with Eagle County, the Town of Gypsum and the Eagle County Airport. The federal contracting process included project master planning, architectural and engineering firm selection, architectural and engineering design execution, and construction contractor selection.
Jacobs Engineering of St. Louis, Mo., is the architectural engineering firm that designed the project and provided construction administrative services. The construction contractor is Hensel Phelps Construction Company, of Greeley, Colo.
Scope of the project comprised a 101,600-square-foot aviation training facility that included administrative areas, classrooms, a flight operations section, maintenance hangars, allied maintenance shops and lodging rooms. Exterior facades of are a combination of stone, glazing, translucent panels, concrete and metal panel systems. Site improvements include grading, utility services, control gates, a parking lot, access roads, concrete aprons, helicopter tie-down pads, dry-stack stone feature wall and miscellaneous landscaping. The project is projected to achieve at least a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver rating, fully certified through the U.S. Green Building Council.
HAATS is the only Department of Defense school that conducts power management and environmental training at high altitudes. HAATS trains aviators from all components of the U.S. military and international military students. With the addition of a full-time Coast Guard instructor pilot in 2011, HAATS is also a joint training school. While there is no planned increase in the scope of the mission, the new facility will allow the HAATS staff to more efficiently and effectively conduct operations.
HAATS trains military rotary-wing pilots from around the world, giving pilots the knowledge and confidence to safely operate their aircraft at maximum gross weights in any environment; especially at high altitudes. This critical mission provides life-saving combat skills to American and allied pilots serving in mountainous Afghanistan and other challenging environments worldwide. Additionally, as part of their state mission, HAATS pilots and crews conduct numerous search and rescue and occasional wildland firefighting operations in the mountainous regions of Colorado.
News media representatives are encouraged to cover the groundbreaking. Remarks by Colorado National Guard and community leaders will begin at 10:30 a.m. at 517 Airport Road in Gypsum, Colo. 81637. A reception will follow.