Geospatial Airmen support refueling mission

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alan Ricker
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. – Geospatial Airmen assigned to the 22nd Civil Engineering Squadron ensure McConnell’s operational readiness by continuously gathering geographic information.

“The function of the GeoBase office is to maintain the Common Installation Picture, which is the database that manages all of the physical attributes of the installation, above and below ground,” said Staff Sgt. Alexander Chambers, 22nd CES site development noncommissioned officer in charge.

Their area of responsibility includes 1.1 thousand buildings, 2.8 million square feet facilities footprints, 3.6 thousand acres of land and $2.1 billion infrastructure equity.

“We also manage all digging permits for multiple construction projects across [Team McConnell] by synchronizing our geospatial database with current and past projects to diminish conflicts with 17 on and off-base organizations,” said Chambers.

Currently, the geospatial office is performing a study to determine if there is a need to repair the installation’s storm drainage system on the airfield.

“The main purpose is to eliminate wet areas that attract birds to lower bird and wildlife aircraft strike hazards and prevent airfield pavement failure due to old, deteriorated drainage pipes underneath the pavement,” said Master Sgt. Jaime Diaz, 22nd CES execution support superintendent.

If recommended, the construction can positively impact McConnell’s ability to continue to generate aircraft.

Additionally, the office generates maps for multiple agencies and programs on the installation. These maps are used for visitor and contingency operation use.

An example of the map’s importance is its use by the Emergency Operations Center and the squadron’s Unit Control Centers during emergency scenarios. During bomb threats a map can be utilized to inform base leadership on the exact location of concern.

“We must also remain proficient in our key contingency duties that must be applied during real-world base operations,” said Chambers.

Chambers listed that the team must be ready to support search and rescue operations, rapid airfield damage repair, and produce minimum aircraft operating surface for runways, enabling aircraft to land and take-off to support sorties and flight combat operations.

The GeoBase office enables McConnell to continue its air refueling mission by staying proactive and sustaining accurate information while managing substantial amounts of geographic infrastructure on the installation.