USACE, Air Force break ground on B-21 weapons generation facility

Omaha District
Published May 14, 2024
Weapons Generation Facility ground breaking ceremony, Ellsworth, AFB, April 29, 2024.

Members from the USACE Omaha District, the U.S. Air Force and distinguished guests attend a weapons generation facility ground breaking ceremony at Ellsworth, AFB, April 29, 2024.

Weapons Generation Facility ground breaking ceremony, Ellsworth, AFB, April 29, 2024.

The Omaha District team from the Rapid City resident office pose for a group photo during a groundbreaking ceremony at Ellsworth AFB, April 29. (Left to right) Perry Klein, Jeff Tessin, Roger St. Louis, Bill Lein, Michele Fisher, Eric Timpe, Heather Hilgemeier, Matt Baird, Justin DiRico. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo).

Weapons Generation Facility ground breaking ceremony, Ellsworth, AFB, April 29, 2024.

Roger St. Louis (right) senior construction representative and Eric Timpe (center) project engineer, speak with Bill Lein, area engineer, during a weapons generation facility ground breaking ceremony at Ellsworth, AFB, April 29, 2024.

Weapons Generation Facility ground breaking ceremony, Ellsworth, AFB, April 29, 2024.

Maj. Gen. John P. Newberry, U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center commander gives a keynote speech during a weapons generation facility ground breaking ceremony at Ellsworth, AFB, April 29, 2024.

Weapons Generation Facility ground breaking ceremony, Ellsworth, AFB, April 29, 2024.

Members from the Omaha District's Rapid City resident area team attend a weapons generation facility ground breaking ceremony at Ellsworth, AFB, April 29, 2024.

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.— Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District’s Rapid City, South Dakota resident team, along with airmen from Ellsworth Air Force Base recently broke ground on a new B-21 weapons generation facility under clear, blue skies April 29.

The morning event was hosted by Col. Derek Oakley, commander, 28th Bomb Wing. Maj. Gen. John P. Newberry, U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center commander, provided keynote remarks prior to the traditional golden shovel ground-breaking ceremony that included representatives from multiple agencies.  

“I’ve been with the Corps for about a year now and I’m excited for this project to kick off,” said Eric Timpe, USACE project engineer. “It’s a big challenge and this is a very important project. There is a lot of motivation to do well — this project plays an important role in our national defense strategy.”

Perry Klein, the weapons generation facility resident engineer, was born and raised in South Dakota and explained that team building is essential for the project’s overall success.

“I try to build a cohesive team for any military construction project,” Klein said. “However, conflicts are sometimes inevitable in the context of teamwork, and it can be in task, relationship and process.”

Klein says that apart from competency— collaboration, coordination, cohesiveness, interdependency, and commitment are essential characteristics of a high performing, functional team.

“One of my tasks is to pull all of these traits together for the completion of the weapons generation facility project— this is both a professional and a personal goal,” Klein said. 

The Rapid City resident team currently has over a dozen on-going projects at Ellsworth, AFB, which are focused on B-21 infrastructure build-out, Klein added.

Roger St. Louis, the weapons generation facility senior construction representative will provide direct support and oversight for this $205 million project expected to be finished by March 2027.

The state-of-the-art, 64,000 square-foot facility will provide vital support to the U.S. Air Force 28th Bomber Squadron’s mission of strategic deterrence.

 


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