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JSF opens doors to new facility

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Sonny Cohrs
  • Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs
The Joint Security Forces unit here opened its doors to a new facility May 30.

The new $730,000 facility, which has been under construction for the past 18 months, combines offices that were previously spread out in four separate wooden buildings.

"It allows us to consolidate the entire JSF, to include training, supply, force protection, and security, all under the same roof," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Warren Eastwood, a provost sergeant with JSF, which is the Army equivalent to an Air Force operations superintendent.

All of JSF's functions are now under one roof, with two exceptions: the law enforcement desk and the kennels.

The law enforcement desk is slated to begin operations in the new building by the end of June, once the alarm systems throughout the base are re-routed to the new facility. The military working dog operation will remain separately located in a nearby facility.

"I think it fosters much more effective communications between the individual sections," said Sergeant Eastwood. "With all of us being in the same building, it gives us more face-to-face, which we should be doing anyway, as opposed to email."

Another benefit of now being under the same roof is indoor plumbing, a luxury not so common to the 20-plus year old wooden structures that house most of the base operations.

"Obviously that's a major benefit," added Sergeant Eastwood. "No more walking 25 meters, or whatever it takes, to get to the latrine."

The engineers in charge of the project said there were a few cultural differences between the way construction is done in the States and the way workers do things here, but overall the project went well.

"A lot of these projects used local materials, so we had to have local expertise when using those materials," said Capt. Michawn Yuvienco, 612th Civil Engineer Squadron. "And it's cheaper to use local materials and labor, versus bringing in a contractor from the States to do the same job."

Captain Yuvienco said with all construction projects, there are usually a few issues to work through. "But that's what we get paid to do," he said. "To resolve those issues and be good stewards of the government's dollar."

Although he won't work in the new building for long due to a pending change of command in June, Maj. Shaun Salyers, JSF commander, is very proud of the new 7,680 square foot facility.

"It's very, very nice," he said. "It gives us a chance to consolidate a lot of our different offices that were spread among different buildings. It makes communication and working together a lot easier under one roof."

Although the JSF commander agrees that the facility is a big improvement over their previous abode, he says their mission will not change because of the nature of the job.

"As far as what we do for the mission, it isn't really done in here," Major Salyers said. "It's the guys out on patrol, working the gates, going on missions and deployments for various countries."

Currently, Soto Cano Air Base has a master plan for construction, eventually replacing most of the wooden structures with similar semi-permanent facilities with a life expectancy of more than 25 years. Next on the list are more living quarters, a new Joint Task Force-Bravo headquarters building and a search and rescue team facility. In fiscal 2008, a dining facility is planned as the base's first military construction project, which will cost approximately $2.56 million.