Rapid Response: Sunbelt Rentals Builds Base Camp for Prestigious Military Academy


When one of the most prestigious U.S. military academies found themselves in need of temporary clear span structures to provide accommodations for hundreds of incoming cadets, they chose Sunbelt Rentals. This institution is hailed as the nation’s finest American service academy and welcomes thousands of recruits to earn competitive training and education.

While they had been providing living quarters for soldiers for more than 200 years, the sudden circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic meant they needed more space than ever to properly social distance their men and women in uniform. As an approved GSA provider, Sunbelt Rentals is well-versed in working with many branches of government and delivering rapid response, thorough attention to detail and hands-on project management.

The Challenge

Mahaffey Base Camp ExteriorSunbelt Rentals was tasked to build 24 sleep tents and one large dining tent at a remote base camp to house hundreds of soldiers during cadet summer training. These structures would help expand on existing base camp living space to improve the quality of life for the soldiers during their two-month stay. 

All of the clear span structures provided would need amenities like lighting, HVAC, electricity, flooring, cots and tables/chairs. The most important detail for the client was getting these structures up and running as quickly as possible so Sunbelt Rentals got to work providing quality structures in a short time frame.

A critical element of this job was bringing the need for on-grid amenities to a mainly off-grid construction site. By working closely with the client and clearly defining expectations, this was made possible in a timely manner. Defining expectations is one of Sunbelt Rentals' fundamental behaviors.

The client’s structure needed:


Living, Dining, and Sleeping Quarters

HVAC Systems


Safety Features and Equipment



Rapid Installation


Electricity & Power


The Solution

The client communicated a strict schedule for project completion for Sunbelt Rentals that required a quick and clean approach to construction. The academy was expecting hundreds of new soldiers within a matter of weeks and needed the structures in place before their arrival. Sunbelt Rentals teams had less than a week to dispatch and install all 25 structures.

Mahaffey Base Camp SetupSunbelt Rentals' quick response to this project is another direct example of one of our fundamental behaviors.

Due to the layout of the military academy’s property, Sunbelt Rentals teams were forced to find unique solutions to space and time constraints. The location of the 24 temporary barracks required that the clear span tents be constructed close together — Sunbelt Rentals placed each structure with a forklift over concrete pads for support. This approach accommodated the tight space requirements and ensured that the structures would stay secure and intact through any weather conditions.
In addition to our normal offerings, this solution included generators and daily fuel deliveries in order to bring the “GRID” to a remote, off-grid site.

Sunbelt Rentals' massive inventory, nationwide footprint and experienced, full-time field installers allowed Sunbelt Rentals to dispatch a 20-installer crew within one day of contract award and complete this massive base camp in less than seven days.

Sunbelt Rentals' solution included the following features:

  • 1 66' x 132' x 10' DFAC (Dining Facility Tent)
  • 5 steel double doors
  • Exit signs
  • Fire extinguishers
  • 15 LED lights
  • 24 17' x 24' personnel tents


The Result

Mahaffey's Base Camp InteriorThis project required a tight timeline, creative solutions and professional, turnkey services. Thanks to the organization and timeliness of Sunbelt Rentals crews and project managers, the total project time from initial client contact to end of construction was just three weeks.
Thanks to Sunbelt Rentals' experience and full time, dedicated field crews, the team was able to surge the job site and keep the project on track, despite the unusual construction maneuvers required.

Shortly after the original installation, the contracting officer in charge reached out to Sunbelt Rentals with a need for an additional DFAC space in light of COVID and social distancing needs during meal times. Sunbelt Rentals had the clear span structure installed in just three days. The academy expressed their gratitude for the Sunbelt Rentals teams and said that their work far exceeded their expectations.


“The Sunbelt Rentals team delivered legendary services with their expertise and quick installation time.”

—John, Procurement Manager

The Takeaways

As an approved GSA provider, Sunbelt Rentals has years of experience in delivering turnkey solutions for military and government clients. Sunbelt Rentals' portfolio includes customized hangars, barracks, DFACS, and other structures for the Coastguard, U.S. Air Force, and the Marine One helicopter fleet. If you have a need for temporary fabric structure solutions, turn to a partner trusted by America’s Military with a proven track record of consistently delivering. Choose Sunbelt Rentals.

Interested in learning more about Sunbelt Rentals' custom solutions? Simply click on the button below to speak with one of our experts.

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Topics: Lunch and Break Tent Military and Government Base Camps and Living Facilities