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Five years after devastating flood, Offutt AFB has begun to rebuild

Posted at 9:56 PM, Mar 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-13 22:56:40-04
  • Reconstruction of Offutt Air Force Base has begun, and the first campus is 60% complete
  • All eight campuses are expected to be complete by 2028 and functional by 2029
  • Watch to learn more about the changes they're making so buildings aren't destroyed by future floods that may arise


Five years ago Offutt Air Force Base behind me was covered with 720 million gallons of water, now reconstruction of the southeast side of the base has begun and the Offutt Flood Rebuild Program Management is giving us a deeper look at the future of this eight campus plan.

The main reconstruction is underway. The first on the list is the security forces campus... and it's already 60 percent complete.

Program Management Office Director Lt. Col. Ron Blankenship says the Air Force used this disaster as an opportunity to build new state-of-the-art facilities that are more integrated with other parts of the base.

"We've taken the lessons learned over the past decades and everything we've done the RC135 community and the Offutt team, and expanded upon that. This ops facility will incorporate dozens of units that otherwise would have been scattered across the base," said Blankenship.

137 buildings were damaged due to the flood and more than 3,000 airmen were displaced 55 Wing. This new plans take climate change and natural disaster into consideration. They're building each of the new buildings three feet above sea level to prevent the loss of equipment if there were another flood.

"That first floor you can tell is not as high as the others, but sitting on a warehouse purposing, rather than drywall, if anything were to affect that, it would be nothing that would result in the loss of the building," said Blankenship.

Right now most of the security force team is working out of the Offutt dorms. And 55th Security Forces Squadron Commander Andrew Ferguson says he can't wait to step onto a completed campus.

"The team did a really good job of putting lipstick on a pig, and making it feel like a security forces head quarters and were able to be effective. But, to move into a modern building, I can't wait," said Ferguson.

The Security Force Operation Campus is set to be complete in May 2025. The full eight-campus plan is set to be complete in 2028 and functional in 2029. Blankenship also tells us the the project is going to cost roughly 2.6 billion dollars.