FORT A.P. HILL, Va. (July 26, 2010) -- Bracing for what promises to be the biggest gathering of Scouts held at Fort A.P. Hill, installation employees are making final preparations to welcome thousands of visitors arriving today to attend the 17th National Scout Jamboree.

This celebration, which runs through Aug. 4, will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America and is expected to draw an estimated 45,000 Scouts and leaders, 2,000 military personnel and more than 270,000 visitors over the 10-day period.

It's the equivalent of constructing a city of 45,000 to include food, shelter, communications, public transportation, latrine/shower, trash collection, security and medical facilities, said Hank Hanrahan, director, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, charged with heading installation support of the jamboree.

Other amenities the Scouts will enjoy include those services found in most any community, such as a bank, post office, radio station and daily newspaper.

"From the A.P. Hill perspective, preparation for this started even before the last jamboree ended in 2005," Hanrahan said. "It's been an on-going effort to ensure we incorporate lessons learned to make this a safe and memorable experience for the Scouts."

In addition, the installation staff will continue to support those military units who have come here to train, he said. This will be the first time Fort A.P. Hill has not shut down training to support the jamboree.

"In fact, we will have Soldiers with the 2-112th Stryker unit [2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment (Stryker Brigade Combat Team)] who recently came back from deployment to train, reset and get back to mission task," he said. "The unit will train with the Stryker vehicle on north post conducting driver training, convoy operations and will be moving about throughout the maneuver area."

Hanrahan admits that this required extensive planning and coordination between his staff and the unit leadership to ensure the training would not interfere with the jamboree activities.

The extra time and effort has paid off and training will proceed as planned.

"Though the units will not be allowed to conduct live-fire training until after the Scouts have exited the installation," Hanrahan added, "it's reassuring to know that military units, such as the 2-112th, will be on the ground during the jamboree."

Support for the jamboree is a very planning intensive operation, he said. All the way down to grass cutting, everything had to be planned out.

The Directorate of Human Resources has hired an additional 80 employees to provide support to the jamboree. These individuals will provide locator services, process all civilian awards and print requests to include pick-up and delivery, and will set up and assist both the military and BSA mail activities at Wilcox Camp.

The DHR staff support includes processing the extra volume of individuals expected to visit the installation and other services such as chaplain support.

The Resource Management Office staff coordinated and oversaw execution of funds provided to the installation for military support to the jamboree; established budgets; provided guidance on civilian hiring actions and appropriate use of funds; served as the liaison with the Joint Task Force for funding issues; and, provided support requirements for owners and Contracting Officer Representatives for procuring services.