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News | June 27, 2019

Employees celebrate opening of new DLA Aviation Operations Center

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

Four years after construction began in 2015, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Linda Hurry officiated a ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of the DLA Aviation Operations Center June 25.

Employees from across center gathered in the front loop of the five-story Operations Center to celebrate and recognize the completion of the building that has been on the drawing board for more than three decades.

Hurry welcomed attendees and provided opening remarks. She highlighted the team effort that went into completing the state-of-the-art building.

“It takes a tremendous team to complete such a monumental project and this Operations Center is proof that by approaching this as a team sport and using our different backgrounds and skills, we can accomplish anything we put our minds to,” she said.  “We have an absolutely amazing joint service and civilian team here at DLA Aviation and they deserve this state-of-the-art facility as they work tirelessly to support over 10,000 of our military aircraft and the collective defense of our nation.”

Charlotte Hurd, military liaison for Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, attended and read a letter on behalf of Warner extending his “warmest congratulation on the occasion and deepest appreciation” for the DLA Aviation workforce and all they do to ensure the U.S. military is properly prepared and equipped.

Following Hurd, Army Col. Patrick Kinsman, commander, Norfolk Distrist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, spoke on behalf of the Corps.

“The Corps of Engineers has worked many large and small projects across the base,” he said. “Our 375 plus Norfolk District employees were happy to collaborate with DLA [on this project] and we are happy to be the service provider of choice for the [Defense Supply Center Richmond.]”

David Gibson, site director, DLA Installation Management Richmond, was the final speaker.

He spoke about the military construction process, laughing that the phrase “patience is a virtue” applies as their records indicated that the DLA Aviation Operations Center has been in the planning for about 35 years. 

“The building construction really took off in the last eight years,” he said.  “It is the largest original construction project on center since the World War II-era warehouses were built 1942.”

Gibson thanked the team of DLA Aviation, Corps of Engineers, DLA Installation Management and Hensel Phelps Construction Company for their roles in the design and construction of the building.

He also thanked the last three DLA Aviation commanders whose leadership lead to today’s ceremony:  Air Force Major General Mark Johnson, retired, who began the demolition by taking a sledge hammer to Building 31, Air Force Major General Allan Day, who broke ground from a top of a backhoe and Air Force Brig. Gen. Linda Hurry, who cut the ribbon official opening the building.

Today, approximately 875 employees occupy the state-of-the-art 253,982 square-foot building.

Energy efficiency is a hallmark of the new facility with features that include a geothermal well field system consisting of 252 wells.  The wells, a renewable energy source, use the earth as a heat source in winter or heat sink in the summer, taking advantage of moderate Virginia ground temperatures. They are expected to boost the center’s use of renewable energy by 15% and reduce operational heating and cooling costs.

The building also includes energy efficient light sensors, touchless water faucets, and low-fill toilets. The building’s north-south orientation layout in conjunction with the exterior brick walls and tempered, clear or laminated glass provides better natural lighting and heat retention than existed in the older warehouses.

The features above, along with the building’s environmentally friendly flooring and ceiling materials contribute to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver rating. LEED is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide. Developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council, it includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods that aim to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.

Roughly 1,623 more center employees are anticipating the start of construction for Phase 2, a 281,064 square-foot facility, which is almost a mirror image of Phase 1. DLA Installation Management Richmond hopes to begin construction of Phase 2 within the next couple of years.