ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. --The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command has taken occupancy of the former headquarters buildings of the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and Schools.

Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, RDECOM commanding general and Aberdeen Proving Ground installation commander, began using Building 3071 on APG-North as his headquarters office space July 26. Brig. Gen. Harry Greene, RDECOM deputy commanding general; Gary Martin, executive deputy to the commanding general; and Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin have also moved their offices to the historic buildings known as the Stones.

The command's headquarters will operate from both the former Ordnance Center and Schools buildings and from its buildings on APG-South during consolidation of RDECOM headquarters elements through fiscal 2011. Currently, only RDECOM's programs and engineering staff are operating completely at the new site.

The move is part of a plan to consolidate headquarters staff to increase efficiency and improve performance, said Carl Boquist, RDECOM facilities and logistics director. The command has staff spread across seven buildings on APG-South.

With the departure of the Ordnance Center and Schools from Aberdeen Proving Ground to Fort Lee, Va., as part of Base Realignment and Closure Act, the former headquarters buildings of the Ordnance Center and Schools on Raritan Avenue now stand largely vacated.

With construction completed in 1941, the two-story buildings had reinforced concrete foundations and floors and exterior walls of stone backed by hollow terra cotta tile. The roofs are slate. The Army designed the buildings before World War II to provide primary administrative space for the Ordnance Center and Schools that were newly consolidated at the time. They have been the primary occupant of the buildings since construction.

RDECOM employees from Buildings E-5101, E-5103, E-5027, E-5183, E-4810, E-4435 and E-4445 will consolidate into Buildings 3071, 3072, and 3073. The command will also take control of the Ball Conference Center at Building 3074.

Boquist said the move will provide several advantages to the installation functions of Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Aca,!AcThe move of RDECOM headquarters will help alleviate a lack of adequate facilities on APG-South for those tenant activities which do not have the means to build new ones.

Aca,!AcThe Stones provides the largest contiguous set of buildings on APG and therefore provides the facilities for consolidating the RDECOM headquarters staff from the many APG-South buildings.

Aca,!AcThe vast majority of RDECOM's organizational assets will be located on APG-North and command and control can best be executed from there. The move will facilitate better this, officials said.

Aca,!AcAs the senior command on the Aberdeen Proving Ground, RDECOM headquarters will move into the facilities traditionally recognized as serving the senior commander and his staff.

The rear detachment of the Ordnance Center and Schools will remain in the basement of Building 3071 until September while the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command will continue to use Building 3073 until its new facility is completed in January 2011.

Other organizations have occupied the Stones throughout the years as well. The U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, the U.S. Army Material Command Board, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the U.S. Army Cadet Command, and the Trial Defense Service have all been residents of the Stones. Also, Bldg. 3074 currently contains the Machinist Training Facility, used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Ball Conference Center.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command is the Army's technology leader and largest technology developer. RDECOM ensures the dominance of Army capabilities by creating, integrating and delivering technology-enabled solutions to Soldiers. To meet this commitment to the Army, RDECOM develops technologies in its eight major laboratories and research, development and engineering centers. It also integrates technologies developed in partnership with an extensive network of academic, industry, and international partners.