Naval Air Station-Kingsville will soon be getting a new place to store explosives.
They currently have three underground bunkers, but they are all experiencing severe deterioration. One of the bunkers has already been condemned.
Now there’s a $2.5 million project to bring in new storage facilities.
NAS-Kingsville is one of the premier locations for jet aviation training, and support for those missions is critical.
It’s inside those three magazine bunkers, covered by earth, where small munitions are stored to provide a kind of backup for Training Wing 2, one of those jet fighter squadrons in the skies of Kingsville.
They’re called “det cords.”
“The function, when you pull the ejection handle, that is what explodes and throws you out of the airplane,” Lt. Christopher Waldrop said.
However, thanks to Mother Nature, officials have seen the condition of the bunkers get worse and worse over the last several decades.
“Part of the condemned process, there's structural integrity issues falling apart from the inside and from up top,” Waldrop said. “Rainwater intrusion issues; the concrete has collapse under its own weight over time.”
The condemned bunker is certified empty and officials said its replacement is paramount. That is why the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast has recently awarded a $2.5 million contract to a company out of Brownsville called Solid Structures to build three above-ground replacement facilities.
Work is set to be completed by November of 2018.