By Laura LeveringDecember 8, 2015
Fort Gordon hosted the Army Installation Management Command's fifth Cyber Installation Support Summit, Dec. 1.
Military leaders from across the country gathered to discuss requirements and resources needed to support cyber growth on IMCOM-managed installations for Fiscal Year 2016 and beyond.
Maj. Gen. LaWarren Patterson, deputy commanding general for operations/chief of staff of IMCOM, San Antonio, Texas, was among dozens of leaders from Fort Gordon; Fort G. Meade, Md.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; and the Army Cyber Institute at West Point, N.Y., who attended.
Throughout the summit individual stakeholders presented issues and concerns regarding mission requirements and funding requests. Much of the focus was on Fort Gordon, where a substantial amount of resources are needed to accomodate the transformation of the Cyber Center of Excellence and the move of Army Cyber Command. ARCYBER's current facilities at Forts Meade and Belvoir are scheduled to consolidate at Fort Gordon.
As part of last year's summit process, Fort Gordon received an estimated $60 million at the end of last year to fund several projects related to growth on the installation.
Laying out requirements for Fiscal Year 2016, Fort Gordon officials describe the need for $50 million to renovate old facilities and purchase temporary facilities to hold the installation over until the Army can provide military construction dollars to construct new buildings. The buildings would be used to train Cyber and Signal students of the Center of Excellence.
"We assessed what it would take to renovate those classrooms, and through the process of the summits, concluded that simply renovating the existing space would not be adequate," said Col. Samuel G. Anderson, Fort Gordon garrison commander.
The plan is to construct a Cyber Center of Excellence campus that is modern and walkable by transforming Chamberlain Avenue into green space similar to a college campus. Chamberlain traffic would have to be rerouted before conducting any demolition.
"There's several road network improvements that we're going to do to compensate for Chamberlain Avenue going away," Anderson said.
And it would all have to be synchronized to where Soldiers' training and work schedules are not interrupted, adding to an already "very complex plan," he added.
Plans for the Cyber Center of Excellence campus were approved by the vice chief of staff of the Army, but its construction will depend on availability and approval of resources in the future, which will be requested in subsequent summits.
It's a project that would total almost $1 billion over the course of five years, according to Diane Devens, special assistant to the Cyber CoE commanding general, Maj. Gen. Stephen G. Fogarty.
One plan the Army expects funding for is the construction of a new access control point. Officials are looking at positioning the new ACP close to heavily populated National Security Agency-Georgia area, where traffic is expected to increase.
"We're trying to route as much traffic as we can from off the installation directly to (NSAGeorgia) so they are not having to traverse across the installation,"
Anderson said. "That's going to be a huge benefit to everybody who works on Fort Gordon."
As plans to revamp its infrastructure move along, a major transformation of another kind is taking place. Approximately 2,500 of the projected 4,700 total added personnel have arrived. The remaining will continue through 2019, when ARCYBER is expected to complete its arrival.
Anderson said that by the end of cyber growth, less than 30 percent of the population will be U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command units. There will be a huge increase in the number of people who work in a 24/7 operational cycle, more permanent party personnel, and more families. With those come more needs.
"Everything that we do to run the city of Fort Gordon, we really have to look at from a perspective of we now have a different mission and a different population to support," Anderson said.
That topic and others will likely be addressed during the next cyber summit, which will be in March. Overall, this week's summit was a success and an important step toward a smooth transition of U.S. Army Cyber Command, said Devens.
"It was an unprecedented way of doing the Army's work and doing it as a team, so (there are) very good processes in place for that," Devens said. "There's a lot of work in the way ahead, but the whole Army is pulling behind it, and we've got great support, so I'm optimistic."