CRC breaks ground on new addition May 3
May 10, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 10, 2012) -- The Combat Readiness/Safety Center looks to better serve the Army as it broke ground on a new addition to the facility during a ceremony May 3.
The groundbreaking ceremony kicked off the construction of the new 40,000 square foot, $11.5 million project that will double the size of the current CRC and provide additional meeting space, administrative space, laboratory space and new technologies that will enhance what the CRC does for the Army, said Brig. Gen. William T. Wolf, director of Army Safety and commanding general of the U.S Army CRC.
The current CRC building was built in the 1970s, according to Col. Kenneth Biland, deputy commanding officer of CRC, and the groundbreaking was the culmination of a project that began in 2006.
"[The CRC] has been in the same structure for about 40 years," said Wolf. "We've expanded our mission exponentially across the force and we support the entire Army -- Reserve, National Guard and active duty -- so this is a huge benefit to us."
The CRC currently has about 250 Soldiers, civilians and contractors working for the institution and Wolf said they are "busting at the seams" in the current facility trying to get everything done to support the Army.
"[The CRC] has well outgrown its current and past facilities," said Lt. Col. Tom Nelson, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Mobile District. "Providing a modern facility will inherently increase the efficiency and improve what is already world-class service to our Army in accident prevention and risk mitigation."
Nelson said he wanted to be present for the groundbreaking because he wanted to represent his district and he has been working on the project since the beginning, adding that he was excited to see the work that has been put in finally come into fruition.
"It's very gratifying [to see the groundbreaking] because when you're working on something for so long, to actually be able to see the fruits of your labor is nice," he said. "I'm confident that for years to come, lives will be saved and loss will be prevented by the very hard work that is done in this facility and will be done in the addition we're about to construct."
"I know that each and every one of my predecessors would be proud of this day and what we're accomplishing here," said Wolf. "We're supporting our Army with a premier facility with the best Army officers, noncommissioned officers, Soldiers, and Department of the Army civilians and contractors to keep our Soldiers, civilians and Families safe everyday."
The CRC collects, analyzes and disseminates safety-related and accident related information across the Army, according to the general.
"We basically look at accidents across the Army, both on and off duty -- that includes uniformed Soldiers and Army civilians," said the general. "It's a rigorous job, but it's something that benefits the Army at the end of the day because everything we've learned from these accidents and unfortunate tragedies can be applied to the Army in our lessons learned."
Wolf said the CRC was put together in the mid 1970s when the Army was losing nearly 700 Soldiers a year to accidents, adding that last year the Army reduced the number of Soldiers lost from accidents to 177.
"We really have made a difference across the Army with the help of our leaders and Soldiers across the field," he said. "The new addition to the facility will only enhance that capability and make us that much better."