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MWSS-472 restores hangar space at Al Asad for incoming squadrons

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 200512271144
Story by Cpl. Paul Leicht

AL ASAD, Iraq (Jan 22, 2005) -- Prior to the arrival of additional squadrons at Al Asad, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing support Marines began months of preparations to accommodate the additional theater assets.

Since October 2004, Marine Wing Support Squadron 472, Marine Wing Support Group 37, repaired, refitted and fortified a large hangar space at Al Asad to support incoming F/A-18D Hornets, EA-6B Prowlers and the several hundred Marines that will keep them flying.

“This was a pretty extensive project that required action on five projects simultaneously in a compressed timeframe,” said Maj. Edward W. Probert, engineer officer-in-charge, MWSS-472, who is an activated Reserve Marine from Rye, N.H. “Our engineers and utilities Marines did an exceptional job in getting the spaces ready for the additional squadrons.”

MWSS-472 engineers worked long and hard to complete the preparations, said Master Sgt. Peter T. Leonard, chief engineer, MWSS-472, and a native of Marshfield, Mass., who served as the construction crew foreman during the project.

For buildings without power, light receptacles or heating sources, new supplies were ordered and promptly used. Marine electricians then wired the building put in all new light fixtures, reconnected all power receptacles and hooked up heating units.

“For some buildings, we also needed to install communication cables and phone lines, as well as remove a lot of trash in and around the building,” said Probert who in the civilian sector is a campaign director for Phillips Exeter Academy, which is a secondary school in his home state. “To prepare the ramp area we also removed several smaller structures and light towers in addition to doing extensive sweeping, painting and dust abatement near taxiways.”

Concrete-reinforced hangars also wired for electricity for the new, special light fixtures hung.

“These new fixtures are explosive proof and vapor proof fixtures that were on order, so we used some from other parts of the base,” explained Probert whose Marines took apart, cleaned and then reassembled and hung the lights in the hangars.

Generators were also installed to provide power for all of the communications gear, as well as providing back-up power for several structures.

Before the hangar space project was complete MWSS-472 also emptied some 12,000 yards of earth into hundreds of fortified Hesco barriers, in addition to the structure remodeling and rewiring to bring the hangar area up to operational specifications, said Maj. David A. Krebs, assistant airfield operations officer, Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 3, 3rd MAW.

“MWSS-472 really worked their butts off with tremendous effort to bring certain facilities here online for additional squadrons,” said the Monroeville, Ohio, native. “Their area here is now one of the cleanest and newest part of any airfield in Iraq right now.”

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