TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Col. Kenyon K. Bell, 72nd Air Base Wing commander, led two Tinker Housing Town Hall meetings on Jan. 26 at the Tinker Club. Topics included the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command’s Exercise Agile Warrior now wrapping up at Tinker Air Force Base, the $9.7 million four-gate upgrade and Balfour Beatty Communities’ plan to replace PEX piping in 394 base homes.
Regarding the exercise, Bell said Tinker will accomplish and exercise focused on a full spectrum of readiness; training Airmen on surviving in a simulated hostile environment.
“Our MAJCOM leadership will visit to witness some of it,” Bell said. “You may see some longer lines at some locations as many of our members will be tasked to be in the exercise.”
Additionally, he said Tinker will have a capstone Unit Effectiveness Inspection in early May. This inspection ensures our wing is prepared and able to perform its mission.
Bell said the four-gate upgrade project will continue to take place for the next three years as construction rotates through the different gate enhancements. He added that 24-hour access will eventually be available on the south side of Tinker which should please base housing residents.
Bell told the crowd that one of the main reasons for the town hall meetings was to discuss housing on base.
Rick Herman, project director for Balfour Beatty Communities, introduced BBC’s new staff members and their plan to improve their quality of customer service to housing residents. He also addressed leakage problems with PEX piping and the extensive plan BBC will roll out to replace all the PEX in the new homes.
Herman said that although the existing piping has been used successfully in thousands of homes across the U.S., the products in Tinker homes are breaking down prematurely.
Pipe replacement will occur on a number of homes first to test the process and length of time required. Once the timelines for repairs is established, 10 Patriot homes will be available to relocate families during the renovations.
He said the only alternative BCC has is to replace all the PEX in the new homes, which he estimates 160 homes currently have leakage problems.
“So our plan going forward … is so that folks, family and pets will be able to stay on base as this occurs” Herman said. “The homes will be fully furnished and you’ll be able to move (back) in once your house is renovated and repaired. Your homes will be fully cleaned and inspected before you move back in.”
He said the homes with current leaks will be prioritized for refurbishment and that BCC plans ongoing town hall meetings to communicate and explain impacts to residents as the project moves forward.
Bell confirmed that communication throughout the process will be vital to easing the disruption to base residents.
“This will not be an easy venture, so we will minimize the pair through clear and open communication.”
For more information call 734-3324 or 610-3637, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or 72ABW.CEIH.HousingWorkflow@us.af.mil.