Quonset Air National Guard Base Air Traffic Control Tower Ready for Action
By Master Sgt Janeen Miller, 143d AW/PA
/ Published January 29, 2013
12/07/2012 -- Members of the Rhode Island National Guard were joined at Quonset Air National Guard Base by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse as well as Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicillinie for a dedication ceremony of the newly built $8.3 million dollar Air Traffic Control Tower facility. The 98 foot tall building was constructed for the 143d Airlift Wing, Rhode Island Air National Guard, and replaces the old tower which was built in 1941 and stood only about 50 feet tall.
During the ceremony the attendees heard remarks from both Senators and Congressmen, Major General Kevin McBride, Adjutant General, Commanding General, Rhode Island National Guard and Col Arthur Floru, Commander of the 143d Airlift Wing.
Colonel Arthur Floru called the building a "beacon of excellence" continuing to draw the next generation of top performers that the 143d Airlift Wing and the Rhode Island National Guard has grown accustomed to. He went on the praise Cutler Enterprises of Vernon, Connecticut, the primary contractor involved in the construction of the tower, remarking that Cutler, with the help of several other subcontractors, many of whom came from Rhode Island, put a lot of effort to make sure this wasn't just a building but also a home. Major General McBride added, "This is another great example of the RI National Guard adding critical capacity to our state in the form of a much needed control tower at the Quonset State Airport. The tower will enhance our ability to safely fly our fixed wing and rotary aircraft while adding value to the taxpayers of Rhode Island." Also recognized during the ceremony for their efforts to bring the tower online were members of the 143d Civil Engineering Squadron and 143d Communications Flight, Rhode Island Air National Guard, and the 212th Engineering Installation Squadron, Massachusetts Air National Guard.
Following remarks the ceremony moved to the front doors of the facility where a ceremonial ribbon was cut to signify the official opening of the state of the art facility. A tour of the facility was conducted and lead by Airmen of the 143d Airlift Wing.
The state of the art tower will provide substantial capability for not only the military aircraft that fly in and out of Quonset, but also for the civilian air traffic.