By Philip Carter
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. — After days of heavy rainfall in September 2013, the oversaturated ground wreaked havoc all along the Colorado Front Range down to Colorado Springs. Between 10-14 inches of rain fell in a 72-hour period, nearly a year’s worth, causing widespread flooding and mudslides, including Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station.
The cleanup and repairs to prevent a similar event in the future are now complete. A ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by 21st Space Wing leadership was held Nov. 16 at CMAFS.
“It is truly my pleasure to be able to stand here today and declare victory for these two projects,” said Col. Gary Cornn, 721st Mission Support Group commander. “The north portal repair and the security forces lobby renovations were thrust upon us abruptly on Sept. 12, 2013.”
The heavy rain affected the north portal area of CMAFS when a massive mudslide carrying boulders and debris flowed across the portal’s access road. The event required a reconstruction of the vehicle containment area and the drainage area next to the access road.
“The north portal project created eight rock nets that were designed to capture any future outfall of rocks and trees, thus protecting our facilities below,” said Erik Waldrip, 721st Civil Engineering Squadron project manager. “It includes a 9,300 cubic yard catch basin that will capture overflow mud and small debris away from the road and portal.”
In addition, the vehicle inspection station and entrapment area was built to accommodate larger vehicles. Fire trucks are now able to pass through the entrapment area.
“The renovation of building 100’s lobby incorporates state-of-the-art biometrics for self-entry.” said Waldrip. “It corrects five long-standing (deficiencies) that date back many years and the lobby has been enlarged to increase processing capacity for deployments.”
“The mountain is incredibly important to our missions,” said Col. Doug Schiess, 21st Space Wing commander. “It’s an iconic part of the Colorado Springs and El Paso County area, but it is a huge part of our national security.”
The ceremony concluded with the cutting of a ceremonial ribbon by Schiess, Cornn, and Col. Nathan Mooney II, Air Force Space Command deputy director of logistics, engineering and force protection.