By Chris Rasmussen, Fort Jackson LeaderJanuary 14, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The Roadrunners have a new home. The battalion has moved from its old digs on Magruder Avenue to the new BCT II complex on Golden Arrow Road. Three 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment companies will begin their training cycle Jan. 24 at the new complex.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for BCT II is slated for 11 a.m., Jan. 21.
"I am very impressed with the new BCT II Complex and its state-of-the-art upgrades and overall design," said Lt. Col. Charles Krumwiede, commander of the 1-61st. "After moving out of a headquarters and company barracks that were 30 years old, we really appreciate having a modern facility that allows us to focus on training and not on facility maintenance."
BCT II is being constructed in two phases. The second phase of construction, which is scheduled to begin in a few months, will allow space for two more companies. Completion is set for the end of 2012. Cost for both phases of the complex is $104 million.
"Right now we will have Bravo, Charlie and Delta companies moving in," said Maj. Rodney Jones, 165th Infantry Brigade senior projects officer. "When the second phase is completed, Alpha and Echo companies will go online."
Company F barracks have not been approved or appropriated. Company A will remain in its current Magruder Avenue location, while Companies E and F went offline in December. Offline means the company is still active, but is not doing its BCT mission. Cadre assigned to those two companies have been redistributed across the battalion.
"The new BCT II complex greatly improves the (battalion\'s) ability to accomplish our training mission and enhances the drill sergeants' ability to accomplish the Basic Combat Training program of instruction," Krumwiede said. "The main reason for this is that each platoon has its own independent, self-contained area for life support and classroom training."
Drill sergeant offices are located on the same floor as each platoon, along with latrine and laundry rooms. Each platoon has a 60-Soldier classroom. The new complex also provides enhanced safety and force protection measures such as an integrated "separate and secure" alarm system, modern fire suppression and motion-sensitive lighting. The move is part of a larger effort to locate BCT barracks and activity north of Strom Thurmond Boulevard.
"Part of Fort Jackson's master plan is to move all BCT units to one side of Strom Thurmond Boulevard and all AIT units on the other side," Jones said.
Beginning Jan. 18, Golden Arrow Road will be closed 6 to 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday for physical training. The road is being closed before Soldiers-in-Training move in to allow for cadre to do PT.
"The adjustment in traffic pattern is necessary to ensure the safe training of Soldiers while conducting PT in the morning," said Col. Bryan Rudacille, 165th Infantry Brigade commander.
The 369th Adjutant General Battalion will move into the Magruder Avenue buildings vacated by the 1-61st. The 165th Headquarters will move to the current Judge Advocate General building this spring. In addition to the battalion move, Company E, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment will transfer from the 193rd Infantry Brigade to the 165th Infantry Brigade. The company is a mobilized reserve company, one of two on Fort Jackson. The other company is Company E, 3-60th. Company E, 1-13th came under operational control of the 165th Infantry Brigade and the 1-61st Tuesday. After the 1-61st graduation March 31, Company E, 1-13th will demobilize and another company of Reserve Soldiers will mobilize to continue the mission.