Navy Facing Billion-Dollar Tab, Years to Get China Lake Fully Operational After Quake

USNI News | 8/21/2019 | Gidget Fuentes
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A pair of strong earthquakes that struck the Navy’s key hub for air warfare research, development and testing six weeks ago handed the service a huge bill to replace, rebuild or repair damaged facilities.

The Navy estimates more than $2 billion in repairs are needed to repair facilities damaged by a pair of earthquakes six weeks ago at its vital hub for air warfare research, development and testing.

China - Lake - Naval - Weapons - Station

China Lake Naval Weapons Station encompasses 1.1 million acres north and southeast of the desert town of Ridgecrest. The facility, roughly the size of Rhode Island, remains partially mission capable after an earthquake measuring magnitude-7.1 occurred one day after the magnitude- 6.4 temblor rocked Southern California on July 4th. The broader, long-term impact of the damage to the Navy’s research, development and testing missions the weapons station typically supports remains unclear.

While the airfield became operational days after the strong quakes, some 1,341 buildings at China Lake – from small to large and including critical labs and important weapons magazines – sustained damages that could cost as much as $2.2 billion to restore all functions of affected facilities as they were on July 3.

Set - Estimates - Naval - Facilities - Engineering

That’s according to a preliminary set of estimates compiled by Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest earlier this month. The data drew on calculations from damage assessment teams, other evaluations, and “plant replacement value” determinations aimed to gauge the estimated costs to replicate damaged or destroyed buildings or facilities. Those calculations put the overall value of China Lake’s facilities at $5.2 billion.

The list of replacement facilities includes Hangar 3, the airfield’s largest building, and Hangar 2. Construction, including replacement, repair or upgrades, could take two to three years, once funding is secured and eventual design/build plans are completed.

Navy - Estimates - Meeting - Interest

The Navy presented the estimates at a meeting it organized to gauge interest from the regional...
(Excerpt) Read more at: USNI News
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