JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. (April 17, 2014) -- Congressmen, U.S. Army senior executive service members and other military officials gathered at the Joint Base's Lakehurst section for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of a future Army research and development aircraft hangar April 11.New Jersey fourth district Rep. Chris Smith and third district Rep. Jon Runyan joined leaders from the Army's research and development community and the Army Corps of Engineers for a symbolic "first dig" at the hangar site slated for completion January 2016. The Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Command Center, or CERDEC, hosted the event.The Army awarded Pennsylvania-based Bedwell Company a $42 million contract for the 107,000 square foot facilities construction overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New York District.Located on the only tri-service joint base in the country, the hangar will be a much-needed addition to the CERDEC Flight Activity, which is managed by the CERDEC Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate, or I2WD. The CERDEC Flight Activity provides a unique development and integration capability to government agencies, academic institutions or industry partners with valid Defense Department missions.The new hangar and immediate surrounding area will include high-bay and low-bay aircraft hangars, aircraft-component maintenance shops, administrative facilities, a fixed-wing taxiway and a rotary-wing landing pad, said Henry Muller, CERDEC Intelligence and Information Warfare director.The space has "joint military-use potential" meaning that other Defense Department organizations could use the hangar, said Charles V. Maraldo, CERDEC I2WD Flight Activity director.The hangar will support future mission requirements of the CERDEC I2WD Flight Activity, which provides end-to-end aviation support for emerging C4ISR technologies, quick-reaction capabilities to units, and post-production aircraft modifications for program executive offices and project managers, Maraldo said.The increased capabilities and space will allow CERDEC to maintain and expand its support to Defense C4ISR-aviation systems programs."CERDEC averages about 40 aircraft research and development modifications every year, and they take place up here providing those new capabilities to the Soldiers," said Dale Ormond, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command director.RDECOM, a major subordinate command of the Army Materiel Command, operates throughout the country and develops technology and engineering solutions for U.S. Soldiers."At RDECOM we are all about helping a guy or gal on point in the middle of nowhere, execute their mission and come home safely, and that's what we do every day putting new capabilities in the hands of Soldiers," Ormond said.The new hangar will allow for increased support for the Soldier."As the guy who's been on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan in a different role, you never really know what goes on behind the scenes to have the products and things you need to help you protect your Soldiers, save lives and execute your mission," said Col. Paul Owen, Commander of the New York District of the Army Corps of Engineers."As a Soldier on the ground we certainly realize the dedication and support of your organization [CERDEC] that goes into saving lives," Owen said.ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS-ELECTRONICS RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTERCERDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.