FORT BENNING, Ga. -- Mission and Installation Contracting Command professionals here play a critical role in helping communicate the Army's history through their support of the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center and its historical grounds.The Smithsonian-quality museum is located outside the Fort Benning Road gates leading to the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, which is home of the service’s infantry and armor schools.The MICC Installation Contracting Office-Fort Benning provides support to the museum for a multitude of services, including grounds maintenance and landscaping, utilities and custodial. Members of the MICC ICO-Fort Benning also are instrumental in the acquisition, preparation and display of government-owned artifacts from around the world.The facility is owned and operated by the National Infantry Foundation, a private non-profit organization established by several retired infantry Soldiers to provide a facility that stands in tribute to the legacy of valor and sacrifice of the U.S. Army infantryman. The museum was opened in June 2009 to honor Soldiers, both past and present.This state-of-the-art facility tells the story of the Army infantryman, from the fields of the American Revolution to the sands of Afghanistan. The 190,000 square-foot museum houses artifacts from all eras of American history and contains numerous interactive multimedia exhibits, telling the story of the nation's past with the latest in technological innovation.Exhibits include the Last 100 Yards Ramp, Benning Gallery, International Stage, World at War, Cold War, Sole Superpower, Hall of Valor, Family Gallery, Infantry Theater, Officer Candidate School Hall of Honor, Ranger Hall of Honor, and World War II Company Street.The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center serves as the setting for all Fort Benning Soldiers graduating from basic combat training and combat advanced individual training. Every Thursday and Friday, the museum's grandstands are filled with 2,100-plus family members and friends who come from all over the country to see their Soldiers march across the parade grounds of Soldier Field. The grass they walk on is seeded with "sacred soil," taken from major battles in U.S. Army infantry history - Yorktown, Antietam, Soissons, Normandy, Corregidor, Hill 180, LZ X-Ray and multiple locations in Afghanistan and Iraq - creating a tangible link between the heroes who have secured our liberty in the past and the new Soldiers who will now defend it.In addition to the museum building, there is also Patriot Park, a complex of historic monuments, educational institutions and recreational areas, which includes Heritage Walk, Soldier Field and the ever-expanding Memorial Walk of Honor. The park is located on land owned and maintained by the installation, and members of the MICC ICO-Fort Benning have played a significant role in issuing and administering contracts for its development and maintenance.Prior to the museum’s opening, it was housed in an old Army hospital on the installation where space and conditions for artifacts were inadequate. The museum represents a unique relationship between a private not-for-profit organization and the Army. The National Infantry Foundation owns and operates the facility, but the Army rents space in the museum to house government-owned artifacts and maintains office space there to provide oversight of artifacts. The parade grounds, however, are owned and maintained by the Army for their exclusive use for events such as graduations and other Army ceremonies.Support provided by the MICC ICO-Fort Benning staff ensures the National Infantry Museum remains a world-class facility that pays tribute to Army Soldiers, especially the infantry, and the sacrifices made every day in defense of freedom.