Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The Air Force has awarded three contracts totaling $38 million to improve the airfield at Naval Air Station Keflavik in Iceland.
The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center's Detachment 4 will direct the construction project with support from Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe Africa Central, the Air Force said Thursday.
The work includes expansion of the airfield's parking aprons, beddown site preparation and an upgrade to the airfield's hazardous cargo pad for the safe unloading and unloading of explosives.
"We are upgrading infrastructure at Naval Air Station Keflavik to provide a high level of readiness for U.S. Air Forces in Europe," said Col. David Norton, director of AFCEC's Facility Engineering Directorate. "We have incorporated innovative design and construction techniques to build resilient facilities to ensure the longest lifespan at the overall lowest life cycle cost."
The construction projects support the European Deterrence Initiative implemented by U.S. European Command -- an initiative intended to increase the responsiveness of U.S. Air Forces and NATO members and allies in Europe.
The EDI includes military exercises and training -- including the annual Dynamic Mongoose exercise, which this year was held off the coast of Iceland -- as well as a rotational presence of U.S. forces in Europe.
An April Department of Defense memo said Defense Mark Esper planned to divert funding from overseas military construction projects -- including, critics said, some projects under the auspices of EDI -- to domestic military construction in order to compensate for funding lost to wall construction along the U.S.-Mexico border.