By Travis Edwards, BRAC outreach chiefAugust 16, 2010
FORT BELVOIR, Va. - A major milestone in the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure legislation impacting Fort Belvoir was marked Tuesday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Rivanna Station. The ceremony, hosted by the Defense Intelligence Agency, officially opened the Joint-Use Intelligence Facility.
"A project of this size and importance does not happen overnight," said host and DIA Director Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess, Jr. during the event. "This new facility is all about relationships here in the intelligence arena and in the community around us. It is about our employees being, living and contributing in this community."
The JUIAF is a unique facility that will allow for enhanced collaboration between intelligence organizations. The facility will house members of the National Ground Intelligence Center, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and others.
"Some of the nation's most important intelligence work will be done here and some of the community's most important civic work, as well, from Scouting to Little League to church functions," Burgess said.
Chairman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Ann Mallek represented the Charlottesville community and spoke during the event. "We are broadening our relationship with Rivanna Station and have worked to make this a smooth transition for all of us. One major milestone in making this a reality was the creation of the Rivanna Station Advisory Working Group, or RSAWG in 2007 that helped with much of the transition."
According to Mallek, additional milestones included augmented funding of a local fire station, hosting local job fairs, creating a newcomer's guide, and enhanced educational programs in the local schools.
"Rivanna will be a stable force in the economy and community for years to come," Mallek said. "We've already seen a rise in home sales and increases in the intellectual capital within our community. We look forward to partnerships and internships between the University of Virginia and Rivanna Station."
The $62 million, 170,000-square-foot facility will hold nearly 1,000 employees from the intelligence community. The JUIAF and nearby NGIC facilities make up Rivanna Station, a sub-installation of Fort Belvoir. Future plans for Rivanna include a potential child development center and fire station to support the two garrison partners.
"The community has really opened its arms to the military and civilian intelligence professional that are moving to Rivanna," said Col. Mark Moffatt, deputy garrison commander for transformation and BRAC. "This is a beautiful community with great people. Fort Belvoir and the Corps of Engineers have provided them a beautiful facility to complete the picture. We also have a very good team working to support them from Fort Belvoir and on the ground at Rivanna Station."
The overall sense and result of the multi-year, coordinated effort by both the community and the military to make this realignment as smooth as possible was captured in the remarks of Maj. Gen. Mary A. Legere, commanding general of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, during the ceremony. "I asked one of my people that now works at Rivanna how things were going. He replied, 'I thought I died and went to heaven, but I really am living and working in Charlottesville.'
Editor's note: More information on the JUIAF and other BRAC projects will be published in the Sept. 16 edition of the Belvoir Eagle, in a special section focused on the 2005 BRAC at Fort Belvoir.