Work starts on medical support facilities at Oxfordshire air base
Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is starting work on new facilities for medics at RAF Brize Norton, following a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction.
Working with industry partners PriDE and Interserve Construction Limited (ICL), DIO will deliver a £15 million project providing a base for the RAF’s Tactical Medical Wing (TMW) and No 4626 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (4626 Sqn) Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF).
The new facilities will consist of a single storey temperature controlled facility within a Second World War hangar to house the TMW operational stores facilities, Medical Logistics Flight (Med Logs Flt). There will be a new office and training building, as well as an external training area on which a tented field hospital can be erected.
Air Vice-Marshal Aroop Mozumder, Chief of Staff Health/Director General Medical Services (Royal Air Force), formally broke the ground to mark the transition from demolition to construction.
Following the ceremony, the Air Vice-Marshal was given a tour of the site by Wing Commander Mark Walker, Officer Commanding TMW, who commented:
“The provision of appropriate infrastructure will enable Tactical Medical Wing to deliver world-leading medical care in support of operations for the foreseeable future.”
TMW is a unique Air Combat Service Support Unit (ACSSU) which, with the support of 4626 Sqn, performs a number of operationally essential tasks. These include providing immediately deployable medical personnel; world-wide aeromedical evacuation; operational medical training and medical logistics.
To perform these tasks effectively and efficiently it is essential that TMW and 4626 Sqn are once again collocated with the RAF's Air Transport Fleet based at Brize Norton.
The new facility is being be constructed on a brown field satellite site, located on the opposite side of Carterton Road to the Main Site.
Chris Seviour, DIO Project Manager, said:
“DIO’s top priority is supporting our Armed Forces as they prepare for operations. The groundbreaking is a significant event, marking the start of construction on this project. We are looking forward to seeing the buildings take shape and completing delivery of a contemporary, fit for purpose, facility, for the Tactical Medical Wing, later this year.”
The project will allow TMW/4626 Sqn to move from RAF Lyneham, following the transfer of the C130J aircraft from Lyneham to Brize Norton in July 2011.
An innovative approach has been adopted to enable the TMW Med Logs Flt to transfer their operations to Brize Norton before the closure of Lyneham.
This approach included Air Command approval to start detailed design of the facility and completion of some enabling works, including re-fencing the site and demolition of buildings, while negotiations continued on the main construction contract. These negotiations led to a 20 per cent cost saving.
A phased handover will take place, with the temperature controlled facilities being completed to allow Med Logs Flt to take up residence in October 2012 and the completion of the overall Project scheduled for January 2013.
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Notes to editors
1. Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). It is responsible for managing and maintaining land and properties to meet the current and future needs of the MOD and personnel at home and abroad, and to support current operations.
2. Our work includes providing, supporting and improving: operational units; single living and service family accommodation; training areas and historic military sites. DIO actively manages these to ensure the needs of Defence are met, value for money is achieved, our heritage is protected and to achieve our environmental goals.
3. DIO was formed on 1 April 2011 when the former Defence Estates (DE) organisation was brought together with other property and infrastructure functions within department to form a single organisation. DIO manages the MOD’s property infrastructure and ensures strategic management of the Defence estate as a whole.
4. PriDE is a joint venture between Interserve Defence Ltd and Southern Electric Contracting, created specifically to manage DIO’s South East Regional Prime Contract (SE RPC). Valued at around £380m, the SE RPC is one of five regional prime contracts currently in place in the UK. As Prime Contractor, PriDE is responsible for estate management and construction services at almost 100 MOD sites throughout the south-east region, encompassing nearly 6000 buildings and facilities'. These facilities include some of the MOD’s largest and most prestigious sites such as RMA Sandhurst, St James’ Palace, Cavalry Barracks and RAF High Wycombe.
5. Picture caption: Please credit – ‘Crown copyright/MOD 2012’
- Representatives from organisations involved gather for the groundbreaking ceremony at RAF Brize Norton.