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On a Mission with Steel in the Bahamas

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large quonset hut hangar at OPBAT base with bifold door raised
For the past few decades, Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), has played an indispensable role in stemming the flow of cocaine and marijuana originating in South American source countries, transiting through The Bahamas, and destined for the United States and Europe.

Each OPBAT mission includes law enforcement officials from The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos who are responsible for making arrests and seizures. A DEA Special Agent is also onboard every helicopter flight to provide advice and coordination. The protection of the helicopters when not in flight in one of the steel buildings is a priority to the success of OPBAT because of the tremendous import of the aircraft to each mission.

SteelMaster Buildings is responsible for the design and manufacturing of the buildings used on the OPBAT base, including the “S Model” steel structure with a bi-fold door where the helicopters are stored. The use of a commercial bi-fold door is a strategic design choice because as the door comes up like a garage door, it folds in half and is slightly angled to allow rain to drain off the front of the door and not collect on top of it. Also, because these doors are so large, the fact that they fold in half instead of just pulling up all together takes much of the stress off the front of the building.

The steel buildings counter the effects of the area’s salty air because steel does not rot, warp, shrink, and it’s non-combustible. Structural steel is also easier to handle, stronger, and less expensive than any other common building material and weighs up to 60 percent less than wood members, which allows for easier transport and assembly.

As opposed to wooden structures, SteelMaster’s buildings come with a little extra protection. They are coated with Galvalume Plus which offers strength, superior corrosion resistance, and an attractive bright appearance that provides excellent heat reflectivity. A SteelMaster building’s strength resists fire, earthquake, and hurricane damage, which is critical at the OPBAT base in Exuma because of the frequent occurrence of major storms to that area of the world.

With thousands of satisfied customers, including buildings located in every state in the United States, on six continents, and in more than 40 overseas countries, SteelMaster takes pride in knowing its steel buildings have earned the favor of not only the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, and Coast Guard, but also the Departments of Corrections, Transportation and Defense, FBI, Public Works, DEA, and the Army Corps of Engineers. The SteelMaster metal building line serves the United States government well, especially in its ability to quickly assemble, disassemble, relocate, and then reassemble.