FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Military City USA gained a new neighbor April 19 as military and community leaders gathered at Fort Sam Houston for a groundbreaking ceremony for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command's new headquarters.
The project, costing $26.4 million, will also be home for the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command and U.S. Army Environmental Command. As mandated by the Base Realignment and Closure Act, IMCOM HQ is relocating from Arlington, Va., while the USAEC is coming in from the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and the FMWR Command is relocating from Alexandria, Va.
"To bring this organization from the Washington, D.C. area to San Antonio is a blessing for lots of reasons," said Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general of IMCOM and assistant chief of staff for Installation Management during the ceremony.
"It's not going to be just one building, but six buildings encompassing 444,000 square feet of office space to house our IMCOM Soldiers and civilians who do such great work on a daily basis. It's a big deal for us to come join Military City USA and we are proud of that fact."
In all, four buildings are under complete renovation, one is getting an addition and two are being built from the ground up. Meanwhile, more than 2,400 people will be moving into new offices during the next two years.
"What's most important about the mission of IMCOM is to ensure our Soldiers, our civilians and their Families have a quality of life that's commensurate with their quality of service," the general said. "Our Soldiers are fighting and winning our nation's wars in combat, and we in IMCOM focus on the Families so the Soldiers forward deployed can focus on the fight."
After the groundbreaking, USAEC Commander Col. Maria R. Gervais oversaw a Earth Day recognition ceremony.
"Earth Day began on April 22, 1970, as a grassroots effort to teach the public about environmental stewardship, and create awareness on how fragile our environment and bring environmental is issues to the forefront of American society," Gervais said. "On April 22, the U.S. Army joins the nation in celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. This provides the Army with the opportunity to reassert our commitment to environmental sustainability, which is critical to protecting the Earth, protecting lives and ensuring mission readiness of the Army.
"Although the Army celebrates Earth Day in April, we practice sound environmental principles every day," the colonel added. "We have an environmental stewardship obligation to meet, while at the same time ensuring our Soldiers are prepared to complete their mission. The Army leads the Department of Defense and the federal government in stewardship of environmental resources. We understand that taking care of the environment is everybody's job."
The colonel then presented the general with a crepe myrtle tree in honor of Earth Day and the command's move to Fort Sam Houston.
"We are indeed stewards of our environment," Lynch said. "That's part of what we do, so it's only appropriate to recognize that we have - and will fulfill - that requirement."