LONGARE, Italy – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District is partnering with U.S. Army Garrison Italy and the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade (Theater) to provide improved facilities here and nearby at the Caserma Ederle portion of the garrison as part of a roughly $30 million sustainment, repair and modernization, or SRM, program.
The projects are primarily funded by U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa and are meant to provide improved facilities for the 207th MIB(T) as they perform their work supporting U.S. Army missions in Africa.
The majority of the modernization work is being performed here on the Longare installation, with numerous facility repair, renovations, and infrastructure improvements being executed on this small hillside installation where the 207th MIB(T) operates. Construction crews are also working at nearby Caserma Ederle on an approximately $7.2 million effort to convert aging barracks facilities into modern workspaces for 207th MIB(T) personnel there.
“The 207th MIB(T) and INSCOM engineers work closely with the USACE personnel through the full spectrum of planning, programming, and executing these projects,” the 207th MIB(T) Brigade Engineer Leo Hargreaves said about the work at Longare. “This modernization program will significantly improve mission critical facilities that will provide the workforce a better and more efficient work environment. Working in nicer facilities certainly also increases the moral of the workforce.”
The ongoing and upcoming projects at Longare are renovations and repairs of existing facilities, many of which are decades old and date back to the early days of the Cold War. The goal of the projects is to allow the 207th MIB(T), which was activated in 2016 in its current role in Italy, to move their personnel into modern facilities that meet the latest security standards and have new, modern workspaces. This will also allow more of their operations to be co-located, bringing more of their Soldiers currently operating out of nearby installations here to Longare.
“We’re managing the modernization and restoration of facilities for the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade, which is important because we’re bringing existing facilities up to the latest security requirements and restoring administrative space,” said Europe District Resident Engineer Tom Schmit, who leads the District’s Mediterranean Resident Office based on nearby Caserma Ederle. “The Corps of Engineers is proud to partner with the 207th and INSCOM to deliver key projects for their critical mission in Italy.”
The most recent and most visible project for the base here was the recent completion of improvements to Via Martinelli, the access road to the Longare installation. This $1.5 million investment funded by INSCOM included widening the road, constructing a new sidewalk and improving the lighting, utilities and drainage. This off-post project required close coordination and partnership with the local community. The City of Longare also funded and awarded a parallel project to construct a parking lot adjacent to the improved road during the ongoing construction.
The road connects the busier and larger Viale Riviera Berica highway to the installation. The improvements are intended to benefit both the Vicenza Military Community and the local Italian community by reducing congestion stemming from the installation.
“While we of course are happy to deliver on a more streamlined way for Soldiers to get in and out of the installation here, we’re also really excited to hopefully reduce stress on the larger roadway here where this new, improved road connects to Viale Riviera Berica,” said Europe District Commander Col. Pat Dagon during remarks at a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of the Via Martinelli project on October 4, 2021.
The improved roadway is also intended to increase safety and reduce accidents, Dagon said.
Construction crews are currently working on more than $13 million of other projects on the installation, including demolishing obsolete infrastructure; converting barracks to offices; repairing aging vehicle maintenance and storage buildings, parking lots, and roads; and bringing existing utility systems to current code standards. This work is expected to be done over the next two years.
There is also a roughly more than $5 million project planned to construct a hardstand for military vehicles in the coming years.