Building 2050; the future

92nd Air Refueling Wing personnel stand proudly for the annual wing photo in front of building 2050, May 2016. Historically, wing photos have been taken in front of the adorned Tanker Pride, because the building is arguably the anchor and icon of Fairchild. In addition, wing change of commands are conducted on the other side of building 2050 where it reads Global Reach For America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Shelton)

92nd Air Refueling Wing personnel stand proudly for the annual wing photo in front of building 2050, May 2016. Historically, wing photos have been taken in front of the adorned Tanker Pride, because the building is arguably the anchor and icon of Fairchild. In addition, wing change of commands are conducted on the other side of building 2050 where it reads Global Reach For America. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Shelton)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- The future of Fairchild Air Force Base's most historical landmark, building 2050, is bright. With the current upgrades and the millions of dollars of upgrades yet to come; there is no doubt building 2050 will remain the hub of maintenance activity at Fairchild for years to come.

Since 2004, more than $25 million has been used to ensure the people, equipment and infrastructures within building 2050 remain safe, efficient and modernized. Many of the improvements completed so far have significantly lowered energy costs, saving the Air Force thousands of dollars a year.

"Each project makes the facility safer by correcting deficiencies, modernizing systems and adding various fire safety features," said Lee Paul, 92nd Civil Engineering Squadron engineering flight chief. "The facility is becoming more and more environmentally friendly because new systems use less energy and are made of safer materials."

In 2009, the 92nd CES electric shop replaced the old lighting fixtures in the hangar bays with new fluorescent lighting. The project, completed with help from a local utility provider, cost $80,000 and cut electricity use in the hangars by 80 percent. The new fixtures paid for themselves in energy savings within one year.

According to John Dupler, 92nd Maintenance Group programs and resources flight chief, projects like this help create safe, clean, well-lit and modernized workspaces.

In the years to come, building 2050 is scheduled to have numerous upgrades to several parts of the building. To include reconfiguring back shop areas to support Air Mobility Command-directed organizational charts and making repairs to walls, ceilings, floors and heating and cooling systems, that are more than 20-years-old. Upgrades to personnel areas such as locker rooms and restrooms are on the list of future renovations.

"We owe it to our workforce to modernize their workspaces," Dupler said. "They need an environment conducive to meeting the needs of the mission. The age of this historical building is beginning to show and it's in our best interest to invest the time and money to upgrade the infrastructure."

Some of the biggest projects scheduled to be accomplished at building 2050 include replacing the old electrical infrastructure estimated at $3 million. The second phase of the fire suppression system includes constructing walls which will provide fire separation between each hangar bay and the other areas of the building. Completing the second phase is estimated at $7 million. Projects that will help further the environmental compliance and modernization of building 2050 are priority.

Building 2050 is fast approaching its 75th birthday and shows no sign of slowing down. It's home to the work horse of global reach air refueling, the KC-135 Stratotanker and previously housed numerous different airframes to include heavy bomber aircraft such as the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-24 Liberator. KC-135s will continue to refuel the force for years to come and in the meantime, building 2050 will continue to morph into a more modern and efficient workspace; capable of accommodating new generation tankers.

"We owe it to this generation of maintainers and to the next, to keep this grand building going well into the future," Dupler concluded.

Editor's Note: This feature is part three of a three part series on Fairchild Air Force Base's building 2050.