Agreement Signed To Relocate TANG
September 3, 2004
Ceremony at United States Senate Chambers Heralds Cooperation Between Country & Community
(September, 2004) Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority and the United States Air Force have signed an agreement that provides for the relocation of the existing Tennessee Air National Guard facilities from the north side of the airport at Democrat Rd. to the southeast corner at Swinnea Rd. & Shelby Dr.
The relocation will give TANG’S 164th Airlift wing the necessary space to construct totally new facilities and accommodate the substantially larger aircraft, the C-5A Galaxy, that the guard will begin flying as part of their new mission.
The TANG move should be completed in 2008 when new hangars and support buildings, aircraft apron and taxiway, plus up-to-date fuel storage and refueling systems will be ready for occupancy. In total, the Airport Authority will construct for TANG approximately 580,000 square feet of new buildings. TANG’s relocation to the southeast corner of the airport will allow FedEx to consolidate its operations on the north ramp.
The official agreement was signed in a ceremony held last month in the Senate Chambers of the United States Capitol. Highest ranking official at the ceremony was Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist who has been instrumental in obtaining funding for the project. Other officials and dignitaries participating included Fred W. Kuhn, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force; Brigadier
General David Brubaker, Deputy Director, Air National Guard of the United States; Major General Gus Hargett, The Admutant General, State of Tennessee; Colonel Janice M. Stritzinger, Civil Engineer of the Air National Guard; Colonel David Burton, Commander 164th Airlift Wing, Tennessee Air National Guard, Memphis; Arnold Perl, Chairman, MSCAA; Larry Cox, President & CEO, MSCAA; and, Graham Smith, Vice President, Properties & Facilities, FedEx Express.
This announcement signifies a major milestone for Memphis and the Mid-South region,” stated Senator Frist. “This relocation is good for America and our military preparedness, the National Guard’s mission capabilities, and job and business growth in the state. I commend all community, government and military partners who contributed to this solution.”
“When we first learned about the change in mission and equipment needs for TANG, we realized that we had a chance to craft a solution that would meet their needs and at the same time create a growth opportunity for FedEx,” said airport president, Larry D. Cox. “The Air National Guard gets 118 acres on which to develop three new hangars and supporting facilities and FedEx gets to consolidate all of its operations at the airport by leasing the Air National Guard’s existing 103 acres, which are located in the middle of FedEx operations.”
The move will also enhance efficiency of ground activities for both parties, Cox said, by ensuring both TANG and FEdEx’s aircraft have easy access to Memphis International’s World Runway. The consolidation will give FedEx a total of 648 acres at Memphis International, which has a total footprint of approximately 4,500 acres.
This is a win-win situation for both the 164th and FedEx,” said Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. “We are pleased that one of our state’s largest employers and our Tennessee military can each have the opportunity to fully utilize the World Runway and the other state-of-the-art facilities at Memphis International. This positive conclusion also demonstrates the airport’s foresight in sensibly allocating the space available at its facility.”
“A jewel of my congressional district is the Memphis International Airport and the home of the Tennessee Air National Guard 164th Airlift Wing. I commend them on this decision and their spirit of cooperation,” added Congressman Ford.
The C-5A Galaxy, the largest plane in the U.S. Air Force fleet, will replace C141s formerly flown by the 164th Airlift Wing. Current plans call for nine C-5s to be eventually delivered to TANG, with future expansion possibilities to 13 aircraft.
We knew that we had to upgrade and refurbish our facilities and operations at Memphis with the arrival of the new C-5A aircraft, and that activity was going to be very disruptive and cumbersome if done on our current footprint,” said Colonel Burton. “This move will greatly enhance our ability to carry out our operational and training mission for the C-5 by allowing us to start over with buildings designed for our 21st Century needs. [ the first base to meet new Anti-Terrorism Protection Standards]. We are very happy that the Airport Authority has been so accommodating in seeing that we are able to meet these needs.”
“This is one of the most significant events in the history of the Memphis International Airport. With this relocation, the airport is poised to better serve all of its partners. We will be able to ensure that everyone has room to grow and that we will get full utilization of our internationally recognized World Runway,” added MSCAA Chairman Arnold Perl. “The relocation of the Tennessee Air National Guard at Memphis International Airport is an excellent example of cooperation between country and community which will create a new home for a new mission. Cooperation between the local airport community, government officials and the nation’s military works to the benefit of everyone involved.”
The C-5s that are vital to the Air National Guard 164th Airlift Wing’s mission are among the world’s largest aircraft. The are commonly used by the U.S. military to carry combat equipment-including 74-ton mobile bridges. The A380-800F aircraft that FedEx will begin flying in 2008 will be the largest commercial airplane in history, capable of carrying nearly twice the payload of the MD-11 now used by the company.
“This relocation agreement represents the vision established many years ago to make maximum use of the airport land for all important partners,” stated MSCAA board member and chairman of the MSCAA Planning and Development Committee, Thomas C. Farnsworth, Jr. “Many people have worked long and hard on this project, and I am pleased that the vision we began with has now become a reality. We know this is a change that will be advantageous to everyone associated with the Airport.”