After nearly 1 1/2 years of construction, the Joint Deployment Processing Center (JDC) at March Air Reserve Base, California officially opened June 2, 2017 with a ceremony attended by base officials, local leaders, and members of the March populace.
Brig. Gen. Russell A. Muncy, commander, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, along with U.S. Congressional representatives Mark A. Takano, of California's 41st district and Kenneth S. Calvert, of California's 42nd district and addressed over 200 attendees about the years-long development of the building before the opening commemoration ceremony.
The project has been ongoing since 2005 as a two-phase enhancement to the capabilities of the base, according to Muncy, further plans include a cargo processing facility adjacent to the newly built deployment center.
Muncy said that the Air Force and the 452nd Air Mobility Wing pledged to its partners in the I Marine Expeditionary Force to assist with their deployment mission, and has shipped up to 60,000 Marines through the base each year since 2001. Muncy announced Friday that the Army national training center at Fort Irwin also plans to use the March facilities for future deployment activities making March ARB "the joint regional deployment hub for Southern California."
Takano in his comments said that March ARB and the new deployment center are key assets to the military and are a positive contribution to the health of the local community, adding that the efficiency and effectiveness of the building reflect the commitment of service excellence by the base.
After the ribbon-cutting, those in attendance toured the new building.
The $20 million Joint Deployment Processing Center replaces the deployment center located in Hangar 385 which was in a structure built more than 80 years ago. The old facility lacked adequate space and restroom facilities and did not contain modern features such as a private medical screening area, kitchen or air conditioning. The new center features a large waiting area including enhanced climate control, a food service area, wall outlets, USB charging ports every four feet, and space for three times as many seats in the main waiting area, which is enough to hold up to 900 troops. These and other improvements enhance the comfort for troops waiting and streamline the operations involved in the deployment mission.
Future enhancements to the facility will include a computerized signage system, television panels to entertain waiting troops and additional vending machines.
"This is an active relevant base and we want to keep it that way," said Calvert, "as the Air Force changes, we need to modernize our facilities… our folks are worth it."