Delaware National Guard officials break ground on a $28-million project to expand its facilities to maintain and store helicopters.
Just four years ago, the Delaware National Guard were facing massive cutbacks as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Having successfully fought off those cuts, Guard officials are moving forward with a number of construction projects. The latest is a $28-million plan to build two new structures and renovate an existing facility at the New Castle Airport.
The work will increase storage and maintenance space. Colonel Christopher Prosser says the new buildings will allow the Guard’s collection of UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to be stored indoors, and out of the elements. “The original building was designed to maintain the UH-1 aircraft. The UH-1 is a much smaller aircraft and only has a double blade.” The old hangar could hold 16 UH-1 Huey helicopters for maintenance, while only four of the wider Blackhawks could fit.
All three members of Delaware’s Congressional Delegation joined Governor Jack Markell and other dignitaries in a ground breaking ceremony Friday afternoon.