Hi, I’m Alastair Fife, team leader for WINFRA - the DIO’s Wildcat Infrastructure Programme. We last updated you on progress on the project earlier in the year and I’m pleased to say that the vast majority of the infrastructure work here at RNAS Yeovilton has been completed and the site is now operational.
The Wildcat Infrastructure programme was designed to provide new training and office facilities, squadron buildings and living accommodation so that both servicemen and women at the air base are able to train for deployment using both the existing fleet of Lynx helicopters and the Wildcat. It was also designed for the uplift of an additional 750 Army personnel and over 30 Wildcat AH Mk1 helicopters.
The Wildcat AH (Army Helicopter) Mk1 is a versatile aircraft which will perform a range of tasks on the battlefield including reconnaissance, command and control, transportation of troops and material, and the provision of force protection in the land environment.
The Wildcat HMA (Helicopter Maritime Attack) Mk2 is the latest generation of multi role helicopter specifically procured to operate from the Frigates and Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 28 of which have been procured.
The contract in numbers
Since the start of the project, working with our partner Carillion, WINFRA has delivered four major projects with a value of between £8 million and £52 million. Three of them involved the demolition and new build of a three storey Squadron Office Block; the refurbishment of hangars, technical facilities and the building of a new Quarter Master’s stores, a Motor Transport Garage, secure covered vehicle garaging, car park extensions, ancillary buildings (including new vehicle fuel and wash down point) and a cycle path.
The fourth and final project involved building a new Senior Rates Mess with associated Single Living Accommodation (SLA), cardiovascular fitness suite, Dental Centre, and the refurbishment of the current Medical Centre.
Successes along the way
Along the way we’ve enjoyed some successes and received praise for our work. In 2015 we were presented with a DIO Award for exemplifying the organisation's values and providing inspiration to colleagues in the delivery of their work.
Our award was for Safety First – demonstrating how safety informs all aspects of our work and how we maintain site safety standards with briefings, training and empowering colleagues to challenge poor safety behaviour.
Last year we also had a visit from Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Jonathan Woodcock, who was impressed with the infrastructure at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton.
At the end of 2015 our work on Contract 2 – which delivered technical facilities worth in the region of £14 million to facilitate the re-location of the Army Air Corps from Guttersloh and Dishforth into new accommodation at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton – was praised by the Army Air Corps. Our facilities also featured in an issue of LZDZ - the Journal of the Joint Helicopter Command - last year. If you check out our video you’ll be able to see these facilities – and others – for yourself!
2017 will see the development of a number of smaller but operationally important projects in the programme allowing them to progress to a level of confidence where they can be procured and delivered. These projects include uplift in capacity to the existing Bowser Park, a new Waste Transfer Station and roadway and highways works to facilitate better vehicular access and egress to the Station. The project is due for ultimate completion in the spring of 2018.
Our infographic below gives you a flavour of what the WINFRA programme has delivered.