They are not yet ready to provide a grand opening date, but US Air Forces in Europe officials believe the date is drawing near to open the problem-plagued Kaiserslautern Military Community Center. Delays and cost overruns on the project drew the ire of Congress, the eye of criminal investigators, as the Air Force Office of Special Investigations joined with German officials to sort out possible corruption by German contractors, and prompted USAFE to seek help from Germany’s Federal government. Now, USAFE’s KMCC resident director, Col. David Reynolds, says, “We’re definitely encouraged by the progress since spring.” Reynolds said the German construction schedule shows the food court, mall concessions, BX, theater, and 350-room visiting quarters opening in phases over summer 2009. He added, “It’s important to understand with a complex of this size, 844,000 square feet, we can’t go from construction completion right to the grand opening.” The logistics for the move for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, alone, which will take over an area five times the sales space it currently has, are “immense and will consume thousands of man-hours” after the end of construction, said Reynolds. (USAFE report by Darlene Cowsert)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.