By Yvonne Johnson, APG NewsSeptember 26, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Maj. Gen. Randolph P. Strong, commander of the CECOM Life Cycle Management Command, led the C4ISR Campus Dedication Ceremony at the Myer Auditorium on the organization's $800 million Center of Excellence campus.
Accompanying Strong in the official party was Brig. Gen. N. Lee S. Price, PEOC3T; Brig. Gen. Harold Greene, PEOPEIW&S; Jill Smith, director of CERDEC; and Bryan Young, director of the U.S.
Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen.
Strong said that while the BRAC move was "a long six years of effort," the C4ISR mission begins in earnest.
"Now, we refocus to our mission to provide world-class C4ISR capabilities around the world," he said.
Commenting on the closing ceremonies at Fort Monmouth, the organization's former home, Strong said "its reputation for excellence laid the foundation of C4ISR."
He thanked the community partners of Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania for assisting relocating personnel and APG Garrison Col. Orlando Ortiz for his role in the transformation.
He said C4ISR overcame numerous obstacles -- including the recent run of severe weather in Maryland - to achieve the transition on time in accordance with the federally-mandated completion date of Sept. 15, 2011.
"Who knew that we would face an earthquake, a hurricane and a flood before we got to this," he said.
"We have to be a war fighting team," Price added, "and we continue to support the Warfighter and provide for our most valuable assets."
Greene noted that much of the equipment on display in the campus courtyard did not exist in 2005 when the BRAC law was announced.
"It exists today because of this community," he said. "We've done a tremendous job in moving and sustaining a mission since 2005 and this work force played a tremendous role in making that happen."
Smith said while she spent most of her time at APG she was proud to assume the role of director a year ago.
"C4ISR has been actively building relationships with government and educational industries and invigorating rapport with the community," she said.
Young added that "a significant amount of federal, military and Department of Defense dollars poured into the area" to make the transition happen.
"The contracting mission represents the transformation of BRAC and encompasses a wide variety of support," he said.
The official party led a ribbon cutting on stage in a symbolic gesture of formal dedication of the C4ISR Center of Excellence. Joining them was Deputy Garrison Commander for Transformation Col. Andrew Nelson, Program Director for the Corps of Engineers Atlantic Division David Leach, and Craig.
Asuntha Chiang-Smith, Maryland Executive Director, Sub-cabinet for BRAC, presented a proclamation on behalf of Governor Martin O'Malley to Strong and Harford County Executive David Craig.
The C4ISR Center of Excellence campus is a multimillion dollar construction project that encompasses 2.5 million square feet of office, laboratory and administrative space for more than
7,200 personnel. Ground was broken for the campus March 17, 2008.
Where once the C4ISR organizations were spread over 70 buildings at Fort Monmouth, in addition to sites at Fort Belvoir, Va.; Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; and Redstone Arsenal, Ala.; the organizations are now combined at APG in 15 state-of-the-art buildings within walking distance of each other.
The campus is a corporate technology park with environmentally-friendly buildings with rooftop vegetation that prevents erosion, absorbs water and provides insulation and wildlife habitats. The buildings maximize the use of sunlight for heat absorption in the winter and reduce heat
absorption in the summer.
Each building is named for a significant leader whose accomplishments built the foundation of the Signal Corps heritage.
Several family members of former leaders were in attendance for the ceremony.