The $7.2 million included in President Obama’s 2014 budget this week for the Springfield Air National Guard Base will be used to convert a warehouse into a facility to handle classified information, base commander Col. Gregory Schnulo confirmed.
The Springfield News-Sun in January wrote about the 178th Fighter Wing’s plan to turn an existing supply warehouse on the base into a secure facility for three of its four intelligence squadrons.
Those squadrons analyze sensitive satellite imagery, monitor foreign space launches and perform computer network exploitation.
The renovated space will allow the work of more than 250 intelligence analysts and administrative personnel — 124 of whom are full-time — to be done permanently in Springfield by early 2015. Without a secure facility, local guardsmen have been working in a space at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that’s described by the Guard as overcrowded.
A 5,000-square-foot section of the warehouse is under renovation now at a cost of $750,000 to bring the first 57 analysts to Springfield this year.
The $7.2 million in the president’s proposed $3.77 trillion budget will allow the Guard to renovate an additional 20,000 square feet of warehouse space.
A contract is expected to be awarded for construction in November. Schnulo is unsure when work will begin.