With the snip of a ribbon, the Army Field Support Battalion Installation Maintenance Division Complex on Fort Campbell officially opened all of its new doors March 15. Work started on the $53 million complex in July of 2020 and consolidates the AFSBn maintenance shops to seven buildings in one complex, instead of 28 in 11 different locations across the installation.
The consolidation to the complex will save time and money as many of the buildings previously used were old WWII-style buildings that were expensive to maintain. The new buildings are energy efficient, some use geothermal heating, and are large enough to conduct maintenance on some Fort Campbell’s largest pieces of equipment, indoors and out of the elements.
“It’s a better working environment,” said Mark Bean, Installation Maintenance Division chief. “It means we can expand our support to the [101st Airborne] Division (Air Assault), the Garrison, and other units. It helps us support Fort Campbell better.”
Plans for the complex started about 15 years ago with Congress approving funding about 5 years ago.
“It’s real exciting to be out of the WWII buildings and into something like this,” Michael Merkle, Installation Maintenance Division operations manager. “We sat down in a room with the [U.S. Army Corps of] Engineers about how we wanted the buildings done. [Consolidating] helps with the workflow. It’s going to save us lots of time and money because now we don’t have to drive out parts to deliver to all the different buildings since, we are centrally located here.”
Lt. Col. Dwayne M. Terry, Army Field Support Battalion-Campbell commander arrived at Fort Campbell in June of 2021, almost a year into the process of building the new complex.
“To see it start from almost nothing and to construct such a large facility, it’s been amazing just watching it,” said Terry. “It’s a one stop shop. Soldiers can come here, and they can drop off their vehicles, radios, weapons, and so forth all in one location as opposed to being spread out throughout Fort Campbell.”
Workers began moving into and using the new complex about a month before the ribbon cutting ceremony. AFSBn employees and leaders look forward to what the new complex brings to Fort Campbell.
“[The new complex] will result in a better product [Soldiers] are getting in a more efficient timeline,” said Merkle. “So, when they need us, we can provide better support because of our new facilities.”