By Ms. Cherish Washington (AMC)January 24, 2011
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (January 24, 2011) -- The U.S. Army Materiel Command's Band cut the ribbon on its new facility here, Monday.
Lt. Gen. James H. Pillsbury, deputy commanding general for AMC, presided over the ceremony with on-lookers from across Redstone Arsenal and the Tennessee Valley community.
"These are Soldiers first and musicians second. They have got to take care of business first, the Soldier side, then they get a chance to perform," Pillsbury said. "And these [Soldiers] are certainly some of the best we have in the United States Army."
Thomas J. Vajentic, chief of the AMC Transformation Team, gave his perspective on the band's deployment and sacrifices after joining the band on a 2004 deployment.
"They [the AMC band] deploy during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's time frame. They give up their time with their family and here, so that they can go oversees and try to motivate and lift some spirits," Vajentic stated.
Curtis L. Clark, Deputy to the Garrison Commander, reflected on the band members sharing their musical talents during the holiday season, calling it a great benefit to the community.
"I'm confident that their presence will be felt across the Tennessee Valley," said Clark.
To assist in answering the AMC band mission is this state-of-the-art, 16,082 square foot facility which includes a large rehearsal room, individual practice rooms, music library, instrument storage, repair and cleaning, uniform locker rooms and band administration offices.
Dyson Construction Company from Decatur, Alabama completed the facility and Bob Ratliff, president of Dyson Construction, attended the ribbon cutting congratulating and welcoming the AMC band to their new home.
"They [the AMC band] knew what they wanted, knew what they needed, and that helped push the job along," Ratliff said. "The facility was completed almost three months early."
This was due to everyone's hard work and diligence, said Ratliff.
According to Ratliff, the AMC band facility uses 40 percent less water of a comparable building and is being submitted for a certification in Leadership, Energy and Environmental Design, LEED, for the building's green construction.
In addition to the building's energy conservation, we recycled 97 percent of our construction waste, said Ratliff.
Chief Warrant Officer Peter C. Gillies, the AMC Band Commander, thanked the designers that spent countless hours in designing the building and researching what specifically an Army band would need.
Those countless hours spent paid off.
"Even though we've been in this building a little over three weeks, it feels like home. It works and it works smoothly. It's just a real natural fit," Gillies expressed.