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552nd ACW Command Post battle cab undergoes organic and cost-efficient makeover

Members of the 552nd Eagle Team stand in the 552nd Battle Cab war room they gutted then rebuilt into a modern, spacious environment for senior leadership to work during emergencies or exercises.  Aaron Price, Chuck Stevens and Chris Coffman, from left, plus Hunter Stanbaugh, not pictured, transformed the area with pop-up computers in a new  hand-built central table,  a raised ceiling, non-glare lighting and more room for a gallery row that before made a tight squeeze for those seated at the table.  (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

Members of the 552nd Eagle Team stand in the 552nd Battle Cab war room they gutted then rebuilt into a modern, spacious environment for senior leadership to work during emergencies or exercises. Aaron Price, Chuck Stevens and Chris Coffman, from left, plus Hunter Stanbaugh, not pictured, transformed the area with pop-up computers in a new hand-built central table, a raised ceiling, non-glare lighting and more room for a gallery row that before made a tight squeeze for those seated at the table. (Air Force photo by Margo Wright)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Gone are the overhead fluorescent lights, the peeling beige textured wallpaper and walnut-stained trim. Gone is the 1970s ambience of the 552nd Air Control Wing command post battle cab. When an emergency occurs and Tinker's senior leadership gathers to take action, they now sit in a bright, modernized and eco-friendly room.

The 700-square-foot room recently underwent a four-month makeover. Air Control Wing officials said they are pleased with the organic renovations that have saved the Air Force roughly $280,000.

"It's fabulous and we've gotten a lot of good reviews," said Maj. Jen Decatur, chief of Wing Exercises for the 552nd ACW Plans and Programs office.

Master Sgt. Denita Sampsell, 552nd ACW Command Post superintendent, agreed.
"Before it had antiquated equipment and did not function well," she said. "Now, there's more pride in it and we've had to kick people out of it. They want to hold their meetings there; it's one of the nicer areas on base."

In early February, 552nd ACW Civil Engineering personnel met with wing leadership to discuss logistics, requirements and requests. After a basic schematics plan was developed, the four-member Eagle Team went to work.

"We literally tore everything down to the bare sheetrock, concrete flooring, studs and metal tresses, and rebuilt it," said Chuck Stevens, Eagle Team electrician.

By mid-June, the team had revamped the room, which seats 45 people. The walls are covered with environmentally preferred sky and teal-blue paints. The floor has been refurbished with a recyclable blue-carpet, and installed overhead in the 10-foot ceiling are LED lights, which have an array of dimming and backlight options.

Additionally, the 11-foot by 12-foot conference table holds 10 pop-up computer monitors with pull-out keyboards. The central processing units and associated cords are stored beneath in a lighted cubby hole.

"The original table was smaller and more congested," said Chris Coffman, Eagle Team carpenter. "Now, the table is wider and longer and people aren't elbow to elbow."
Three 70-inch liquid-crystal display, or LCD, energy-star television screens are positioned at the front of the room, roughly three feet closer than they had been. Wires and cords for the three large screens are hidden in a lighted, walk-in cubby. Two 39-inch repurposed flat screens are positioned on adjacent walls.

The Eagle Team crew added a raised seating area that seats eight people.

Red-oak trim and woodwork adorns the conference table, walls, podium, cabinets and drawers.

"It's detailed craftsmanship," said Aaron Price, Eagle Team Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning technician.

Marybeth Radtke, 552nd ACW deputy civil engineer, agreed, adding the makeover is a morale booster and important to the mission.

"The renovation is a big deal to the command post and helps with the mission," she said. "Real world issues are discussed in here. Our commanders do work that affects people all over the world."