"This is absolutely amazing progress," said Gen. Carter F. Ham, commanding general of U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army, during his Oct. 28 visit to Dal Molin, the future home of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
Dal Molin will house the four battalions of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team currently in Bamberg and Schweinfurt, Germany. They are expected to arrive in Vicenza by summer of 2012.
"When I was last here everything was just a plan. It was an idea. No demolition had begun. No construction had begun. So to come back now, just a few months after that visit and to see all that has been accomplished is really amazing," Ham said.
He was most impressed by the speed of the demolition, the clearing of the work space and that initial construction has taken place.
"It has been much faster that I would have anticipated," Ham said referring to the delays in beginning the work.
When asked if the U.S. troops in Germany are ready to move to Italy, Ham said they are, as "the brigade really wants to be together." He added "it is very difficult to have Soldiers and families split in two countries so the opportunity to put the brigade together is a great opportunity
and we're are looking forward to that date."
"It is a little bit like a jigsaw puzzle where you have a lot of pieces to put together," Ham said. "But I am very confident that with the team we have here at the garrison, the team with the
engineers and the team of the contractors: we will get through all of that. At the end, this will be a marvelous facility. It will be clearly the best facility in Europe."