Ribbon cutting opens new 470th MI headquarters
February 4, 2010
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The 470th Military Intelligence Brigade held a ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 1 to mark the official opening of its new headquarters, Building 1070.
The ribbon cutting comes almost two years after ground breaking, which took place Feb. 14, 2008.
Situated near the 470th's previous home in historic Building 1000, Building 1070 will house the planning and operations of the brigade, which includes five battalions, on the first five of its six floors. U.S. Army South, which still occupies major portions of Building 1000, will also occupy some space in the new 155,000-square-foot building.
Before cutting the ribbon, Maj. Gen. Simeon Trombitas, commanding general, U.S. Army South; Col. Mary Garr, commander, U.S. Army Garrison; Tom Chandler, chief executive officer, Orion Partners; and Col. Jim Lee, 470th MI Brigade commander, each briefly addressed the crowd gathered in front of the building.
Trombitas said the building was the "finest of its kind" and a tribute to the Soldiers and civilians of the brigade. Garr said the building would be an asset to all of Fort Sam Houston and challenged as well as congratulated the brigade.
Chandler, whose firm constructed the building in partnership with other contractors, said he was thrilled to attend the ribbon cutting. He noted that after the 10-year lease, the building would belong to the Army.
Alluding to the old Army recruiting slogan, "Army of One," Chandler said, "Sometimes it's made of many parts." He explained that the many parts came together to complete the building project.
Lee touched on this in his own remarks: "The past three years have taken major efforts by the 470th, IMCOM [Installation Management Command] West, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Garrison, Orion, Army South, and many other hard working, diligent people to complete this great task."
"This building and our new brigade headquarters represent a major milestone not only for the 470th MI Brigade but also for Fort Sam Houston and IMCOM West," Lee also said.
"It is the first-of-its-kind Enhanced Use Lease building constructed from foundation to roof here on Fort Sam Houston."
With the EUL program, the Army has had under-utilized but non-excess real estate assets on Department of Defense installations refurbished through competitive bids by civilian firms.
According to Maj. Ryan Fearnow, the brigade's logistics officer, EULs help stimulate the local job market and improve community relations as well as offset declining military operations and maintenance budgets.
However, in 2007, the assistant secretary of the Army directed the Corps of Engineers to plan a new facility with a 10-year lease for the 470th MI Brigade.
Consequently, Building 1070 is unique: it is not an old building in need of redevelopment but a new building that still "leverages" the benefits of the traditional EUL.
Building 1070 consolidates elements of the 470th MI Brigade as it continues to train and deploy personnel to gather and analyze intelligence in support of major commands to parts of the world ranging from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Caribbean and Central and South America.