News: MAG-49 takes huge step in efforts to ' go green'
Story by Lance Cpl. Joseph Altemus
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, New Jersey – A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the beginning of a new chapter in Marine aviation and Marine Aircraft Group 49’s new hanger here, May 13, and the end of a five-year Base Realignment and Closure process.
MAG-49, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772 and Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 moved out of Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove, Penn., which closed March 31.
The move here is a big step in the military’s effort in “going green” as the hangar is somewhat self-sustaining by using solar power.
The $66 million facility is Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design compliant, which means the hangar provides healthier work and living environments. This contributes to higher productivity and improved employee health and comfort. The hangar is one of the Marine Corps’ premier aviation hangars. The construction of this hangar emphasizes both Marine Forces Reserve and 4th Marine Aircraft Wing’s commitment to provide the Marine Corps and the nation with combat ready forces, said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Andrew Souchet, 4th MAW, G-4 BRAC officer.
The new facility has energy-efficient fabric hangar doors and heated floors to reduce the amount of energy needed inside the hangar while Marines are servicing helicopters, he said. It has water-free urinals in all the male heads, light motion sensors that turn the lights on when they detect motion, in all offices and a dedicated facility collection point for recycling paper, plastic, aluminum and glass.
The hangar placement is accounted for the need to minimize the impact on installation wetlands and vegetation such as trees.
The hangar has three conference rooms, a warehouse and an armory for each unit.
“Once we move to JB MDL our recruiting should go up,” Souchet said, due to its strategic location, 70 miles south of New York and 40 miles northeast of Philadelphia, meaning the location of hangar should impact the Marine Corps as a whole due to increased recruiting.
“The Marine hanger at JB MDL represents a state-of-the-art facility due to its operational capability and combat readiness requirement,” he said. “The hangar provides MAG-49, HMH-772 and HMLA-773 the ability to meet all its aviation and command and control requirements within one facility.”
Souchet said the hangar provides Marines with the equipment to get nearly any job done without searching too hard for the right tools, because they’ve got nearly everything they’ll need right in the hangar.
This is the most prestigious BRAC actions ever, Souchet said based on his experience as a BRAC officer, outside of the MarForRes move to the new Marine Corps Support Facility in New Orleans.