CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Aug. 13, 2013) -- As the temperature rose under the sweltering morning sun, Aug. 9, it was all smiles for those attending the U.S. Army Medical Command Japan's groundbreaking ceremony.

The ceremony marked the start of a major renovation project of the Brig. Gen. Crawford F. Sams U.S. Army health clinic, U.S. Army Dental Activity Japan health clinic and the construction of a new preventive health facility, here.

Guest speaker Brig. Gen. Dennis D. Doyle, Pacific Regional Medical Command commander, said the $26 million project is for the military members, their families and Camp Zama community.

"[This project] is scheduled to be completed in 2015," said Doyle.

"This project is concrete proof of the Army's commitment to take care of its Soldiers, employees and their family members," said Col. Vivian Hutson, MEDDAC-J commander.

Hutson said that even in times of lean budgets and drawdown, the health and well-being of their patients remains one of the Army's highest priorities.

After remarks, seven senior representatives took to their shovels to ceremonially turn over a shovelful of dirt to symbolically signal the start of the renovation and construction project.

"This project was the result of close teamwork and cooperation," said Hutson.