By Yvonne Johnson, APG NewsSeptember 26, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Aberdeen Proving Ground marked the official end of Base Realignment and Closure Sept. 15 with completion ceremonies hosted by the installation's largest commands.
The BRAC law brought the most extensive changes the installation had seen since it was established in 1917. The most noteworthy change were the departure of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps after 92 years at APG and the influx of new jobs and commands and thousands
of new workers, mostly from Fort Monmouth, N.J., which closed due to BRAC.
During the completion ceremony hosted by the APG Garrison and U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, APG's senior leader and RDECOM commander, awarded the Army Meritorious Service Medal to Col. Andrew Nelson who as the deputy garrison commander for Transformation oversaw the six-year realignment that brought millions of dollars in construction, road and infrastructure repairs to APG.
Nelson said he was honored to celebrate the achievement of BRAC and noted the structural and infrastructural achievements that have been accomplished and that have yet to be accomplished.
"While missing the training mission of Ordnance Soldiers, the face and mission of APG is changed forever," he said, adding that the transformation is not about BRAC but "about the installation's
enduring mission to support national defense and our Warfighter. The APG legacy of world-class support to the Warfighter continues as the transformation ensures APG will be relevant for decades to come," he said.
"This transition will anchor in memory for years to come," Justice added. Lauding the governor, congressional delegates and the citizens of Maryland, he said the people of the state went out of
their way to bring the transition about.
"You are what caused BRAC to be accomplished by the U.S. Army," he said.
Justice and Nelson unveiled a memento of the historic event- a framed illustration depicting the different stages of the transformation -- created by Diane Burrier of the Visual Information Services Division.
The program's guest speaker, Asuntha Chiang-Smith, Maryland Executive Director Sub-Cabinet for BRAC, presented a proclamation to Justice from Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. She said APG was the largest Maryland location affected by BRAC and that overall, BRAC created 23,000 jobs in the state.
During the program, the flags of new APG commands were placed alongside those of the installation's existing organizations. They included the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics
Command (CECOM); the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC); the Army Research Institute (ARI); the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research(WRAIR); the Defense Threat Reduction Agency(DTRA); the Communications-Electronics, Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC); the Army Contracting Command(ACC-APG); the U.S. Air Force Chemical Warfare Defense Division(Air Force CBD); the Joint Program Executive Office--Chemical
and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD); the Program Executive Office Command -- Control and Communications Tactical(PEO-C3T); and the Program Executive Office -- Intelligence, Electronic
Warfare and Sensors(PEO-IEW&S).
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, BRAC was the largest infrastructure Investment program the Army has seen since World War II, with roughly $8 billion in military construction programs executed by the USACE.