Altus AFB breaks ground on new Fire Rescue Center Published Jan. 28, 2021 By Airman 1st Class Amanda Lovelace 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Officials broke ground on a new construction project during the Fire Rescue Center ceremony on Jan. 26, 2021 at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The ceremony marked the beginning of a 13 year-long effort to build a brand new, $21 million Fire Rescue Center, which will double the size of the existing center. As the ceremony began, 2nd Lt. Mitchell Hollman, 97th Civil Engineer Squadron project programmer, shared the significance of the new center to more than 50 Airmen and community members in attendance. “The new Fire Rescue Center will be adequately sized and configured to provide fire protection and firefighting services for base facilities,” said Hollman. “It will also provide aircraft crash rescue and aircraft fire fighting services.” Additionally, the station will house firefighting equipment, a central fire alarm system, a 24-hour crew, and a colocated emergency communication center for security forces and the fire department. The center will also have five pass-through vehicle bays to support 10 firefighting vehicles. “Ultimately, this new Fire Rescue Center will be critical to securing the health and well-being of Altus Air Force Base personnel and community,” Hollman said. Following Hollman’s remarks, Col. Matthew Leard, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander, recognized the team effort that made the project possible. “It’s really tough to get new buildings in the military,” Leard said. “To do it, it takes a really strong team effort. Not only the team here on the installation, but our representatives all the way at the national level and our community partners.” Ending the ceremony, the “first dig” was performed by 97th AMW leadership team, state and local civic leaders and members of the Fire Rescue Center construction team. “The new building will ensure the safe accomplishment of our flying operations and the safety of the community of Mobility’s Hometown,” Leard said. Construction is scheduled to start Feb. 1, 2021 with a projected completion date of Aug. 1, 2022.