Wheeler Army Airfield ADP
Wheeler Army Airfield is part of the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii on the island of O’ahu. A National Historic Landmark, the airfield is located at the site of the first attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and has played a role in several historic aviation feats, including Amelia Earhart’s solo flight from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland in 1935. Many vintage hangars remain in use despite being deemed inadequate to support modern Army aviation operations and maintenance.
WAAF’s area development plan needed to reflect the configuration and condition of the existing facilities that were compromising mission readiness for the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. Maintenance personnel worked in makeshift spaces, and high-value aircraft parts stored outdoors were damaged by the salty air. Because of project funding constraints, planners were tasked with finding new purposes for the vintage hangars while maintaining their historical value. In addition, plans to develop support facilities and add an aircraft parking apron were needed.
The team completed a requirements analysis, revealing that the existing space was sufficient to forego constructing a new barracks, parking garage, battlefield weather and brigade/battalion operations facilities. In addition, the RA led to a vision for the underdeveloped southeastern portion of the airfield. Team members worked with Honolulu District construction managers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide a phased development plan.
The updated ADP bridges the gap between the master plan and site plans, providing a map for future growth. It calls for building three new aviation maintenance hangars that will provide more than 500% more shop space than originally anticipated for the simultaneous maintenance of up to 22 aircraft. The 25 CAB will be able to store high-value aviation parts inside the hangars to prevent corrosion, and aviation unit functions will be consolidated within adjacent buildings to create an efficient work environment. In addition, four historic aviation hangars will be converted to non-flight company operations facilities; two historic aviation hangars will become unmanned aerial system facilities; and one historic administrative facility will be a battalion operations complex.
The updated ADP enabled USAG-HI to obtain Army leadership approval and move quickly into the design phase for several projects. With funding in place, all components of the WAAF southern flightline currently planned and programmed should be built by 2030. The results from this highly collaborative, two-year planning process illustrate the benefits of performing a detailed analysis of specific requirements and mission needs when an ADP is already in place.
U.S. Army Garrison, HI
2020 American Planning Association Federal Planning Division Outstanding Planning Program Merit Award
- World War II-era buildings that no longer met Army aviation needs
- Historic significance
- Project funding constraints
- Updated ADP reflecting current conditions, needs and priorities
- Plans for three new hangars and repurposing of others
- Planning and programming
- Facility condition assessment
- Additional space for storage and maintenance
- Preserved historic character
- Right-sized growth plan
Blog: Woolpert’s Blueprint for Military Planning