The 55th Security Forces Squadron at Offutt AFB, Neb., is taking up residence in a base dormitory as its new office until a more permanent facility is ready, following a historic flood earlier this year.
The squadron, one of Offutt’s largest, was scattered across seven facilities after their offices were ruined in March.
“We’ve been fractured for more than six months, and communication between displaced staff members is not always accurate,” SMSgt. Shane Sudman, 55th SFS operations and training superintendent, said in a recent release. “You can appreciate how cumbersome it can be when you’re trying to make quick decisions but the staff is not together. This move will bring synergy.”
Airmen were supposed to move work into 36 renovated offices in the dorm in August, but some updates proved tricky and pushed the move-in date to the end of the year. The Air Force said the transition was scheduled to begin Nov. 25.
“The two biggest challenges were that the 55th Civil Engineer Squadron had to remodel and repaint the rooms, and they had to make sure light fixtures, sinks and toilets were good to go,” according to the release. “The communications portion was more difficult than what they initially expected. … The 55th Communications Squadron had to figure out how to install more fiber optic cable, and get the internet up and running in living spaces that weren’t initially allocated for offices.”
The flood displaced about 3,200 employees, forced the 55th Wing to relocate airmen to other bases around the world, and caused more than $420 million in damages and restoration work. Long-term reconstruction plans for Offutt will split the base into eight campuses, including one for security forces.