News story

DIO delivers better facilities for Suffolk-based forces

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has transformed a wartime hangar at RAF Mildenhall, improving working conditions at the base.

Structural works to improve the hangar included replacing the roof [Picture: Darren Carter, Crown copyright]

Structural works to improve the hangar included replacing the roof

Working with industry partner Morgan Sindall, DIO’s £3.5 million revamp has turned the existing 1936 structure into a light and airy workplace for American military personnel from 100th Air Refueling Wing’s 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron and their Ministry of Defence colleagues.

Structural works to improve the building included replacing the original roof with a new insulated, profiled metal-cladding system, complete with roof lights.

Existing single-glazed high-level windows have been replaced with double-glazed units and the hangar’s steel framework repaired.

Inside, the building was cleared of a warren of single brick-walled offices and temporary buildings to provide an open-floored warehouse for receipt and distribution of goods.

A new packing and crating workshop allows wooden shipment containers to be made in a cleaner environment thanks to a new dust extraction system, saw benches and machinery.

Inside the new hangar
Inside the new hangar [Picture: Darren Carter, Crown copyright]

The heating system has been extended, the sprinkler system modified and a fire alarm system installed.

Chris Shades, the 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron’s logistics manager, said:

Prior to this work, the lights in the facility had to be kept on 24/7 to enable staff to conduct their work and only half the facility had proper heating.

Now, the lights are only needed during the hours of darkness, no lights are required even on dull days, and the heating in the annexes and the warehouse has been repaired or replaced. The modernised offices are like new.

Light and airy double-glazed windows reduce noise and drafts, and the purpose-built woodwork shop is outstanding, providing a light and spacious environment for our staff.

Staff members who had worked in the facility before work was carried out were overwhelmed with the transformation and now enjoy a pleasant workplace.

Saw benches and machinery
Saw benches and machinery connected to a new dust extraction system [Picture: Darren Carter, Crown copyright]

Adjoining office annexes were also modernised; the roof was replaced, old single-glazed windows switched for new double-glazed units, and interior doors, ceilings, heating and lighting replaced.

DIO area project manager Steve Baxter said:

DIO plays a vital role in supporting the front line by efficiently providing infrastructure services which the UK’s armed forces and its allies need to do their jobs.

Our priority is to enhance the service we provide to defence and deliver a better estate for our users.

Gavin Napper, area director at Morgan Sindall, added:

The hangar at RAF Mildenhall has undergone a true transformation. The renovated building will now provide service men and women with a bright, modern and more comfortable environment to work in.

We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to deliver this important project in partnership with DIO and the American forces.

Published 2 October 2014