AFSAC awards $524 million construction contract

The Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate’s Foreign Military Sales Construction Division recently awarded a $524 million contract to a joint venture between Bahadir Construction Engineering Contracting and Trading Company & Impresa Costruzioni Giuseppe Maltauro to begin constructing an operational fighter wing for the F-15QA beddown at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in 2022.

Over the next two years, approximately 35 buildings, including training, simulators, maintenance, supply, administrative facilities and a Mosque, will be constructed on the campus designed by AECOM to support three F-15QA squadrons with personnel who will train at the 650-acre complex.

“We worked closely with the [Fighter Bomber Directorate’s] F-15 Qatar Program Office to provide the necessary facilities and infrastructure to support the beddown of 48 [F-15] aircraft at Al Udeid Air Base, for the State of Qatar,” said J.P. “Jeep” Wedding, the division’s Qatar section chief. “This is the first time Qatar has purchased F-15s, so there are a lot of unique requirements for the facilities to be able to support the aircraft.”

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Manufactured by Boeing, the F-15QA is considered to be one of the most advanced fighter jets ever built, with next-generation technology, such as fly-by-wire flight controls, electronic warfare capabilities, modernized sensors and radar.

Before the fleet of F-15QAs can even touch the ground in Qatar, the complex at Al Udeid Air Base must be completed.

“We have folks in country [Qatar] as well as engagement from our team here [at Wright-Patterson AFB] working with the Qataris to ensure the facilities are properly designed, constructed and in place to receive the weapon system so the Qataris can operate and maintain it,” said Dr. Carlos Braziel, chief of the International Construction Division. “Collaboration and coordination is the key, and we will continue to do this throughout the life span of the construction project.”

Additional facilities that will be constructed include sunshades, interior aircraft storage to protect the jets from the harsh environmental climate of the Middle East, as well as a wing headquarters building, entry control points, infrastructure, landscaping, roads, and community spaces.

“It’s a great accomplishment to be a part of the team that took on the impossible task of producing these complex designs in just over a year for an estimated billion-dollar construction program and succeeding,” said Eric Lipowicz, lead Qatar F-15QA Program manager in the division. “Overcoming the challenges with schedule, scope and budget and still being able to award as promised to the customer made this program professionally rewarding.”

From the start of the initial design of the complex to the point the construction is completed, a large team including partners from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, continue to work with the division and the F-15QA Program Office.

“Overall, it has been a multi-national, multi-departmental, multi-service combination of teams that got us where we are today, said Wedding. “And now we welcome Bahadir and ICGM to the team to successfully execute the construction phase over the next two years.”

“The F-15 package is a critical piece in the U.S. government’s relationship with Qatar,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Bruckbauer, director of AFSAC. “During my country visits as the AFSAC director, I have observed where infrastructure and facilities were not properly addressed with the partner nation. The Qatar F-15 construction contract award is a testament to our U.S. construction team’s ability to help the partner nation properly plan, design, and construct facilities to maintain and operate their USAF sourced weapon systems – minimizing risks and maximizing operational success. This effort will ensure the right facility capability is in place to enable the country of Qatar to operate F-15s for decades to come.”

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