"I am a family man. I believe the foundation of any community is family. And during my year here, my family are the people who are wearing this uniform. I will do anything in my power to see that they all get home safely."-Lt. Col. Jimmy Phillips, commander, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Feb. 6, in the Salman Pak area of Baghdad.
Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC)
What is AHEC? The Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC), in Carlisle Barracks, PA., is a component of the National Museum of the Army, which is in planning to be built at Ft Belvoir, VA. The mission of the AHEC is to educate a broad audience on the heritage of the Army, by acquiring, preserving and making available historical records, materials and artifacts. The AHEC combines the U.S. Army Military History Institute (USAMHI), the future Army Heritage Museum, a state of the art Conservation Center, a Visitor and Education Center, and the Army Heritage Trail.
What has the Army done? The Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC) began in June 1999 by the Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera, who was committed to pursuing an Army museum at Carlisle Barracks, PA. The museum was to be joined with the pre-existing U.S. Army Military History Institute and whose overall mission was dedicated to focus on the heritage of the Army. The project was a means of further improving the Army's educational capabilities by more fully communicating the holdings of the Institute to the U.S. Army and the American People. In October 2001 Secretary of the Army Thomas White said,
"...we will relocate its [MHI] documents and holdings--the unofficial history of the United States Army--Into a newly built state-of-the-art archive, give that facility responsibility for administering historical documents and photographs Army wide, and associate it with an educational facility and a museum."
What efforts does the Army have planned for the future? The AHEC has plans for three additional buildings at Carlisle Barracks to enhance the visitor experience and further the AHEC's ability to collect and preserve Soldier stories.
2008: The Visitor and Education Center
2009: The U.S. Army Conservation Center
2011: The U.S. Army Heritage Museum