The Montana Air National Guard (MTANG), along with the Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB), has created a military-driven economy in the Great Falls, MT area. During a recent Base Closure Realignment assessment period, the state discovered it was at serious risk of losing all active air wing missions. Because of Congressional support, Montana was able to maintain flying missions by converting from an F-15 fighter wing to a C-130 airlift wing. Since the runway at Malmstrom AFB was not utilized, this transition required maintenance of an airstrip capable to support the active flying missions in the state.
Because of the change in aircraft, the MTANG building infrastructure needed substantial revisions to facilitate the longer aircraft and new mission objectives, including cargo loading for the C-130 Hercules aircraft. These new and remodeled buildings included a two-phase upgrade to Building 25, the main hangar building, and Building 80, a new C-130 Fuel Cell Corrosion Control Facility.
KLJ designed the two-phase structural retrofits to the existing hangar including the main hangar door upgrade and the tail dock extension. A unique design requirement of this upgrade required reuse of the main hangar door installed during phone one in the tail dock extension of phase two. In addition, KLJ provided surveying and civil design for utility relocations (water, sanitary sewer, and fire protection), site grading, new access drives, a parking area, and a 12-inch thick concrete aircraft ramp area.
The conversion has maintained the presence of an active air wing in the state of Montana and has kept the military economy strong in Great Falls.