156th Wing begins construction on $34.6 million mission essential facilities

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Caycee Watson
  • 156th Wing

The 156th Wing held a “Groundbreaking” ceremony, June 8, 2022, to officially recognize the beginning of a series of military construction projects on base. The $34.6 million project will positively impact the island’s economy and provide more than 100 jobs during the development.

The major project is modernizing facilities for the 156th Contingency Response Group and the 156th Communications Flight. These facilities are essential to train, equip and support the rapidly deployable contingency response and communications capabilities to support our federal and state missions, around the world or on the island.

"This construction is part of a process that began several years ago after the change of mission of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard," said Maj. Gen. José J. Reyes, the adjutant general of Puerto Rico. "The assigned missions will allow us to have an additional emergency response component on the island, while providing the opportunity for greater participation in federal missions. Military units have to be relevant to military doctrine; if they are not relevant, they disappear, and they are lost. This transition has made us relevant to the nation's defense and assistance plan, becoming an additional element of emergency assistance on the island."

During the ceremony, representatives from key elements of the project used shovels to symbolize breaking ground for the start of construction.

“I’m excited to witness the start of this construction here at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, today. This is an immense accomplishment for the 156th Wing and our progress toward becoming the premier contingency response and combat communications wing in the Air National Guard,” said Col. Pete Boone, the 156th Wing commander. “These exciting new mission sets will require our Airmen to rapidly deploy to answer the nation’s call, and having the latest infrastructure is essential to the success of the mission, setting us above the rest when it’s time to perform.”

These facilities are the first congressionally authorized military construction projects the Puerto Rico Air National Guard has executed since 2002. The buildings will support the contingency response group and communications flight with office, deployment processing, and warehouse space and are expected to be complete by mid-2024.

“With today, comes change,” said Boone. “Change for the betterment of the past, present, and future Airmen of the 156th Wing.”