New barracks coming for WTB
November 17, 2010
<b>FORT STEWART, Ga.</b> - One of the main aspects of the Army Medical Action Plan, which went into effect in 2007, was the focus on improved housing for wounded Soldiers.
That focus became closer to reality in a ceremony to celebrate the groundbreaking of new barracks at the Warrior Transition Battalion Soldier and Family Assistance Center at Fort Stewart, Nov. 10.
"The Army cares for its own; those words have meaning," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, 3rd Infantry Division commanding general - rear. "Today, we break ground on a building which symbolizes our Army's dedication to those who serve it today and those who will serve it tomorrow."
Colonel Paul Cordts, commander of Winn Army Community Hospital, echoed the sentiment.
"It's more than a building - it's what the building represents" he said. "When our Soldiers who are preparing for deployment drive by the (SFAC) and see these beautiful barracks, they will know, 'If I am wounded, ill or injured, the Army will care for me.'"
The barracks are estimated to be completed at the end of the 2012 calendar year, providing 240 top quality rooms for Soldiers in the WTB according to the battalion commander, Lt. Col. William Reitemeyer.
"These barracks are the first step in the construction of a state-of-the-art campus that will stand as further testament to the commitment and dedication the U.S. Army faces in the care and lives of its wounded, ill and injured warriors," he said.
The barracks complex is part of a three-stage development to improve the facilities for wounded Soldiers on Fort Stewart. The first stage was the SFAC itself, a 15,000 sq. ft. facility that consolidated many of the processing activities assigned to the battalion which opened earlier this year. After the barracks, the final stage of development will be an operational headquarters for the WTB.
A construction project this lengthy and this expensive could have come to a standstill at many times in the process were it not for the strengthened partnerships among the leadership at Ft. Stewart, said Command Sgt. Maj. James Ervin, garrison command sergeant major.
"This project relied on partnerships - the WTB, (U.S. Army Medical Detachment Activity), 3rd Infantry Division and garrison command teams," he said. "It's been a collaborative effort to ensure the warriors receive the level of care commensurate with their service."
For Lt. Col. Reitemeyer, it 's an effort he takes personally.
"I took this job with the interest of helping Soldiers, specifically 3rd ID and regional Soldiers from the Guard and Reserve," he said. "This is a true commitment, and it makes my job a lot easier knowing there's that kind of commitment from the entirety of the Army behind me."