The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) celebrated the placement of the final structural steel beam to the Nolan Building's new addition during a Topping Out Ceremony on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Apr. 16.

In building construction, "Topping Out" is a ceremony held when the last steel beam is placed at the top of a building. This tradition comes from European craftsmen when they migrated to America. The Topping-Out Beam is signed by those who were significant throughout the building's construction.

"Topping Out is an important milestone. It is a great opportunity to pause for a moment and reflect on the hard work and dedication of the women and men who made it possible," said Dave Marrow, deputy district engineer for Program and Project Management, Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District.

"Once complete, this will add over 300,000 square feet enhancing the mission capabilities of INSCOM."

The partnership between INSCOM, the Army Corps of Engineers and Manhattan Construction workers has kept the project progressing with 340,000 man-hours completed and no lost time accidents reported to date, according to Phil Mack of the Manhattan Construction Company.

"I would like to thank you, the craftsmen, the men and women out there working long hours, working safely through tough hours in the cold weather and the heat over the past two years. It's been tough," Mack said.

"We are celebrating today, as we erected 4,300 tons of structural steel. It has all gone up in the last year and the most amazing thing about that is there were no injuries for the structural crew."

Maj. Gen. Christopher S. Ballard, INSCOM commanding general, concluded the ceremony by expressing his appreciation for the construction workers on site.

"INSCOM is an organization of 17,000 folks and the time you've been on this site we consider you all as one of us. Our mission is to save Soldiers' lives, to help commanders in combat to get the mission accomplished and to bring their soldiers home safely. We take this seriously," Ballard said.

"The work you've done, the contributions you made and our ability to get our mission accomplished from here on out will get better. God bless you for what you do. Thank you for what you have done for our organization. We are proud to call you part of our team."

Event guests and more than 175 workers watched as the last beam was hoisted and secured into place on the 381,839 square foot new addition steel framework.

Fort Belvoir's Nolan Building expansion project has an expected completion date of October 2019, followed by a year of interior activities including installation of security systems, information technology cables and systems, and furniture placement.