FORT LEE, Va. (Aug. 5, 2009) -- The first phase of the move of the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum collection from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., began Monday with the transfer of artifacts to their new home at Fort Lee, Va.
Several flatbed trucks carrying about 60 tanks and artillery arrived early Tuesday, with a total of approximately 180 artifacts expected to be transfered to the new storage facility upon completion. The first of several deliveries included a U.S. M-18 and a British Crusader Mark III.
This move is required due to the Base Realignment and Closure law passed in 2005 mandating the realignment of Defense Department force structure and infrastructure. Under BRAC, the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School headquarters, the Ordnance Mechanical Maintenance School and the Ordnance Museum must relocate to Fort Lee by the end 2011.
This is the largest move in the history of the U.S. Army museum system, according to Dr. Joseph Rainer, Ordnance Museum director. The artifacts are being moved in phases to simplify the logistics of this massive movement.
Once construction on the storage facility is complete, all of the pieces in the collection will be stored inside and protected from the weather for the first time since 1967 preserving them as part of the U.S. Army heritage for future generations.
At Fort Lee, the Ordnance Museum will continue its primary mission of training Soldiers in the history and pride of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps and continue its role as a repository of the history of military technology.
After completion of all of the phased moves of the collection, up to 140 large artifacts will likely remain at APG.