Saturday, Nov. 25, 1950


Washington (GNS) --The Air Force expects it will cost around $4 million to put the former Sampson Navy Base in shape for use as a new indoctrination center for Air Force recruits.

Most of the rehabilitation work on buildings, grounds and facilities will be done under supervision of Army engineers from New York City.

Installation of new equipment, such as kitchen, laundry, hospital and motor maintenance, will be up to the Air Training Command, which will operate the base.

The Air Force also hopes to build a new landing field at Sampson, which would be a Class 3 airport or better, capable of handling two or four-engine military airplanes, but must get authorization from Congress first.

Col. E. P. Ketchum, district engineer at New York City, told Gannett News Service by long-distrance telephone that army engineers now are negotiating for the "first phase" of the rehabilitation work.

It would be a "small contract," he said, costing between $100,000 and $200,000, to renovate 12 miles of government-owned railroad track on the Sampson base.

The second phase, costing in all around $3 million, will be a general contract for rehabilitation of all buildings and facilities on the base.

This will be advertised publicly in December throughout New York State. Work is expected to start around Jan.1 and continue for 90 days before the renovation is completed.

Hundreds of various type laborers and construction workers probably will be shipped into the Sampson job. Many may be recruited locally in the vicinity of Geneva, closest city to the base, or Rochester, Ithaca and Elmira.

Ketchum said some buildings are said to be in usable condition now. A small cadre of officers and enlisted men could be housed there while rehabilitation work is going on, but the main body of troops wouldn't arrive until much later, he estimated.

The Air Force expects to send in --within a matter of months-- a total complement of some 21,000, including a training cadre of 5,000 military personnel and civilians, and around 16,000 Air Force recruits for basic training.

Ketchum intends to make an "on-the-spot" inspection of the Sampson site sometime next week.