By Mr. Eric Kowal (RDECOM)February 4, 2010
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Officials broke ground for two new Naval facilities during two separate ceremonies here Jan. 27.
As a result of the 2005 Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations, a Guns and Weapons Tech Data Facility and a Guns and Weapons Turret Facility will both undergo construction bringing more than 200 jobs to the installation.
The first ceremony was more of a wallbreaking than a groundbreaking as the building currently known as bldg. 61, home to the Army's Weapons Systems and Technology Directorate's Indirect Fire Systems Division and Indirect Fire Sustainment Division will undergo construction.
The installation's senior officials and other special guests took a swing at one of the building's walls with a sledgehammer symbolizing the start of the construction process.
The new Guns and Weapons Tech Data Facility will serve as the primary office space for engineers and technicians performing guns and ammunition research, development and acquisition.
Navy Capt. Andrew Buduo III, commander of the Indian Head Division Naval Surface Warfare Center, attended both ceremonies and said he was extremely thrilled to be part of such a magnificent day.
"I am confident that we will continue to build on an already established relationship with the Army and Picatinny in order to do the right thing for our nation and for our warfighters," Buduo said.
The construction phase of the new tech data facility has been awarded to Intercontinental Contract Corp, Inc., of Passaic, N.J., while the Army Corps of Engineers, New York District will serve as the project manager.
"This day is big. It marks the official start of construction, but it also marks a significant turning point in the history of Picatinny Arsenal," said Lt. Col. John P. Stack, the installation's garrison commander.
"The installation's history goes back to 1880 when it was recognized as a depot, but our lineage can be traced back before that to the Continental Army," Stack said.
Stack also spoke of several recent and future construction projects that will benefit the installation in the not too distant future, while special guest Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen assured that these projects are a warranted asset to our nation.
"Picatinny is helping our warfighters fight two wars simultaneously while helping them to prepare for the next. A lot of the technology our servicemen and women use is developed right here," Frelinghuysen said.
The construction of the second facility, the Guns and Weapons Turret Facility, has been awarded to APS Contracting Inc., of Paterson, N.J., and will include a Turret Facility Warehouse, Minor Caliber Weapons Systems Laboratory and Turret Facility.
Upon completion, the integrated facility will provide significant operational benefits to the Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme Division Louisville Detachment that will be relocating here, as well as ensuring the effective sustainment of the Navy's fleet.