FORT BRAGG, N.C. Aca,!aEURc Asked about his first impression of the U.S. Army Forces Command/U.S. Army Reserve Command combined headquarters complex under construction here, Gen. James D. Thurman, FORSCOM commanding general, simply said Aca,!aEURc "Wow".
Making their first visit to Fort Bragg since taking charge of the Army's largest command, Thurman and FORSCOM's new top enlisted Soldier, Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald T. Riling, spent an event-filled Thursday, on post, meeting with XVIII Airborne Corps leaders and Soldiers, attending the 1st Theater Support Command's change of command ceremony and touring the headquarters construction site.
Under the provisions of the Base Realignment and Closure legislation of 2005, Fort McPherson, Ga., must close no later than Sept. 15, 2011. Both FORSCOM and U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters will relocate to Fort Bragg.
"It's remarkable - as I drove up today, the first thing I said was "wow," Thurman said. "It's really remarkable that our Nation provided the resources like this - I know this is going to be a world-class facility."
Along with key leaders from the post, members of Hensel Phelps Construction Co. (the prime contractor for overall project), as well as project managers and engineers from the Army Corps of Engineers, FORSCOM's command team received an up-close perspective on the project - from the basement to the 5th floor overlooking the installation's historic polo field and main post area.
Representing the Base Realignment and Closure Regional Task Force, a partnership of governments working with the 11 counties and 73 municipalities surrounding Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, RTF Director Greg Taylor also got his first look at the inner workings of the nearly 700,000 square-foot structure.
"It (the new building) is very impressive - it's a massive undertaking," Taylor said. "If there is anything we can do to help get resources for key things, like parking improvements, to make the headquarters even more accessible to the workforce - count us in."
Taylor, who took over as director of the BRAC RTF in early July, said there were some who may have doubted the move of FORSCOM and USARC (to Fort Bragg) would ever happen, but now it is coming to pass.
"We're ready for this to happen - it's a good thing for the Cape Fear Region and our state," Taylor said. "Today's visit allowed me to meet some of the great folks involved who have worked with the RTF."
Thurman echoed Taylor's comments and emphasized the efforts by the Fort Bragg staff, the Army Corps of Engineers/contractor team and the surrounding communities.
"I think everybody's heads are in the game up here," Thurman said. "They want to do everything they can to support Soldiers and families, and make sure as we come here to get started and do what we do for the United States Army."
With state of the art information technology and command and control capability built-in, the relocation of the FORSCOM headquarters to the new facility will enhance FORSCOM's ability to accomplish its primary mission of providing trained and ready forces to Combatant Commanders, worldwide, through the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process.
"The American people have entrusted their sons and daughters to us," said Thurman. "I've got a rule that we'll never send a Soldier into harm's way, if they are not properly trained, equipped and with the right leadership."