MCGUIRE, N.J. - The U.S. Navy Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 64 and 52 moved into their newly built hangar Feb. 10 after working out of hangar 3209, also known as big beige, for the past 11 months.
“It felt like we were sleeping on someone else’s couch while we stayed at big beige,” said Cmdr. Chip DeWalt, VR-52 commanding officer. “We are glad to finally be settling into this brand new state-of-the-art-facility.”
The squadrons transferred from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove, N.J., to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst March 2011 because of the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
VR-64 is one of 15 Navy VR squadrons and one of five C-130T Hercules units comprised of active-duty and reserve members entrusted to safely execute effective, responsive C-130 air logistics missions in direct support of the fleet and combatant commanders worldwide.
“Moving into our new facility really completes out relocation process and firmly establishes us as a unit here,” said Cmdr. Wayne Gunther, VR-64 commanding officer.
VR-52 is one of 15 Navy VR squadrons and one of four C-9B Skytrain logistics aircraft units comprising of active-duty and reserve members who provide around-the-clock responsive, flexible and rapidly deployable logistics support required to sustain combat operations at sea.
“This new facility will definitely allow us to complete our daily mission safer and quicker,” said DeWalt.
The new facility is comprised of one large hangar bay with multiple new workstations and offices for sailors from VR-64 and 52 to complete their similar missions.
“We have more room in each of our work areas now,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class James Harris, VR-64 aviation structural mechanic. “Before we found ourselves sharing a smaller space with at least one other shop or department.”
Locker and bathing facilities are also a part of the new facility.
“The new lockers are a welcome change of pace,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kathryn Patten, VR-52 administration yeomen. “This facility definitely is more spacious. I feel a lot more comfortable here.”
The facility has a few energy efficient qualities including: flushless urinals, heated floors within both hangars and energy-efficient windows to help contain hot or cold air.
“The new hangars are amazing.” said Gunther. “We just came from a hangar where it was poorly lit, dingy and short on space for all our equipment and personnel. These new hangars are fully lit, have tons of open space and are kept at a constant 70 degrees with the heated floors, and have ample office space for our sailors.”
Both units are able to complete many of their daily tasks such as maintenance, inspections and even washing of aircraft inside the new hangar.
“A lot of our equipment was still in storage well away from our maintenance workspaces while we were at big beige, due to the limited amount of space,” said Gunther. “Our sailors can now complete their mission more effectively with all their equipment available within the walls of the hangar.”
VR-64 and 52 brought over C-130Ts and C-9Bs as well as more than 500 active-duty and reserve sailors during the transition to the joint base.