NAWS China Lake

Velo Group is providing Construction Partnering facilitation services for two of the three Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake $2.3 billion Earthquake Recovery Program projects. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the projects took place in March and April 2021.

The events marked the milestones of active construction beginning on all military construction and restoration and modernization projects awarded in FY2020 for the repair and construction of research facilities at NAWS China Lake. These facilities were damaged from devastating 6.4 and 7.1 magnitude earthquakes that rocked the Mojave Desert region of California on July 4 and 5, 2019.

South Airfield Earthquake Recovery Projects

Kicking off with a dramatic F/A-18 flyover as part of the welcoming remarks for the groundbreaking ceremony, the first NAWS project to break ground is the largest project in the program. Located at the South Airfield on Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, this part of the program is comprised of six projects that will deliver new and improved facilities to develop and test current and future warfighting capabilities.

“Inside the OICC, we call the South Airfield construction effort the Super Bowl of the earthquake recovery program. The groundbreaking today kicks off the largest single construction contract in the earthquake recovery program season, encompassing a footprint of over 190 acres. That’s roughly 144 football fields,” said OICC China Lake Commanding Officer Capt. Laurie Scott.

The construction of the state-of-the-art South Airfield will restore the capabilities of Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division to execute the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation mission, according to a news release from the Officer in Charge of Construction China Lake Public Affairs.

“The new modern air traffic control tower, an integrated fire/rescue station, aircraft hangers, laboratory space and an expanded aircraft apron will ensure reliable and safe air and ground field operations in support of our warfighters,” it states.

In the spirit of partnering, President and CEO of Environmental Chemical Corporation, the projects construction and design firm, said the following during the ceremony’s closing remarks:

“Let’s do this project in the best possible way that we can, and along the way, let’s not just build the buildings in the contract. Let’s also build bridges, bridges with the Navy clients, bridges with the local community and bridges with the future users of the infrastructure that we’re building.”

Michelson Laboratory Restoration and Modernization

RQ Construction is the general contractor for the second NAWS China Lake Recovery Project to break ground that Velo Group is facilitating. This $78 million restoration and modernization project entails the seismic upgrades and modernizations of the historic Michelson Laboratory’s main span as well as four of its ancillary wings.

Originally constructed in the 1940s, the Michelson Laboratory was built in response to World War II and the Navy’s need for more research, development, testing and evaluation capabilities. The facility has developed cutting-edge research and development technologies as part of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division mission since that time.

Participants at the ceremony marked the start of the project with a bang by using sledgehammers to begin demolition of a wall that was to be removed.

Learn more about the start of these important military projects here: