MND-South headquarters now fully equipped
April 20, 2009
BASRA, Iraq (Army News Service, April 20, 2009) -- Work on the new Multi-National Division-South headquarters building at Contingency Operation Base Basra has finally concluded after six months of labor.
At a cost of about $26 million, the new division headquarters consists of two one-story, 30,000-square-foot buildings that opened for servicemembers April 8.
The work began in November with Airmen from the 819th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers (Red Horse) and contractors from KBR laying concrete, constructing walls and installing wiring, said Master Sgt. Rob Schoon, G-6 Division Automation Management Office noncommissioned officer in charge.
Schoon and the Soldiers from DAMO arrived in early January and started setting up the networking infrastructure. From the time they arrived to the date of completion, Schoon said they placed more than 200,000 feet of wire, nearly 40 miles.
"It's been a big task, to say the least," said Schoon. "But our Soldiers remained highly motivated and determined to get it done in time for the division."
Soldiers working on the new building had more input on the design of the new MND-S headquarters. Soldiers that spent time at Camp Victory we able to address issues with the old MND-Center headquarters building and incorporate ways to avoid them.
Master Sgt. Eldred Peterson, MND-S G-3 Operations NCOIC, who was in charge of the movement of equipment from Camp Victory to here, and assisted in the procurement and installation of the building's new furniture, said he is proud of the work that has been done on the new building.
"I like the furniture of the new offices," said Peterson. "The quality of the furniture is a lot better than what we had at Camp Victory because it is all new. I think the (servicemembers) involved did a marvelous job on the buildings. A lot of work was put into it and I like the end result."
Besides the look and functionality of the new furniture and equipment, Peterson believes working in the new buildings will have an energizing effect on the staff by helping break up the remaining time of the deployment.
"I think Soldiers will be excited to come to a new building and environment," he said. "People will come in and be motivated to get the work done."
Peterson also said while the MND-C headquarters required continuous work and maintenance to improve the quality of its working environment at Camp Victory, this building is new, and the Soldiers that worked on it know everything about the building. He feels that having Soldiers construct the workspace from scratch gives an advantage by knowing what has been done to the building.
The remaining MND-S staff arriving in Basra will be able to come to headquarters and be immediately equipped to continue the mission, said Schoon. "All the Soldiers are going to have to do is plug in their equipment and they'll be ready to go."