Ceremonial shovel and rendering of the $19 million Academic Training Building on August 30, a part of the $2.7B MILCON and RM Earthquake Recovery Program aboard Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

Ridgecrest, Calif.

Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Officer in Charge of Construction (OICC) China Lake hosted their sixth ceremonial groundbreaking on August 30, as part of the $2.7 billion Earthquake Recovery Program consisting of both Military Construction (MILCON) and Restoration and Modernization (RM) projects at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake.

The existing two-story training building, which was the first permanent headquarters building for the Naval Air Warfare Center, was severely damaged during July 2019 earthquakes. Replacing the damaged structure will be the $19 million, 16,000 square foot Academic Training Building that will include a state of the art applied technology laboratory, conference rooms, computer labs and administrative spaces, that will fully restore Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) training capabilities and enhances the collaboration and innovation environment for more than 6,000 civilian and military personnel.

OICC China Lake Executive Officer Cmdr. Timothy Kaber served as the master of ceremonies for the event and provided welcoming remarks before introducing Barnhart-Reese Construction Inc. - Chairman Doug Barnhart, NAWCWD - Director of Research and Development Harlan Kooima and OICC China Lake - Commanding Officer Capt. Laurie Scott.

“Today is significant on many levels as it marks a new season of major construction ground breaking events with the Academic Training Facility being the first for projects awarded in FY21,” said OICC China Lake Commanding Officer Capt. Laurie Scott. “We are indeed fortunate to have a proven performer in Barnhart Reese, whose diverse portfolio of projects throughout the Southwest will be invaluable in constructing this modern facility.”

“Our mission is to develop and test the boundaries of new technologies and weapon systems with the focus of creating the most lethal fighting force the world knows,“ said Harlan Kooima, NAWCWD Director of Research and Development. “When completed, this Academic Training Building will complement our state-of-the-art and one-of-a-kind laboratories by exponentially increasing our people’s technical capabilities.”

“We are proud to partner with NAVFAC to design and construct a new Academic Training Building at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The original building was heavily damaged due to the July 2019 earthquakes and we are anxious to rebuild this critical piece of infrastructure which will provide training, technology labs and meeting space for the Government to continue its critical missions,” said West Reese, CEO Barnhart-Reese Construction, Inc.

When constructed, the Academic Training Center will become integral in enhancing NAWCWD as a center of excellence, for bringing critical mission systems integration to the fleet.

NAWS China Lake is located in the Western Mojave Desert region of California, approximately 150 miles north of Los Angeles. China Lake’s mission is to support the Navy's RDT&E missions to provide cutting-edge weapons systems to the warfighter. The installation is the Navy's largest single landholding. In total, its two ranges and main site cover more than 1.1 million acres, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

OICC China Lake was established in August 2020 to provide engineering, acquisition, and execution oversight for military construction and repair projects caused by the devastating damage from the 6.4 and 7.1 magnitude earthquakes that occurred on July 4 and 5, 2019.

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