By Al Macks, Presidio of Monterey Public AffairsSeptember 29, 2011
CAMP ROBERTS, Calif. - Leaders of the 514th Signal Company hosted a ground-breaking ceremony at the Camp Roberts Satellite Communications Station in September.
Camp Roberts is a subordinate installation of the Presidio of Monterey. It is about 100 miles south of Monterey near Highway 101.
The Department of Defense is constructing three new facilities at the satellite communications station: a communications operation center, an administrative building and a repair and utility shop.
During the ground-breaking event, 514th Signal Company Commander Maj. Kevin Garfield said that the site is the "gem of the Signal Corp and provides unrivaled opportunities for Soldiers to advance in their careers."
The communications operations center replaces the current building, which was built in 1961.
Of the need for a new building, Donald Martin, 514th Signal Company civilian executive officer, said that it is "economically infeasible to retrofit or expand to meet mission requirements and meet current earthquake code specifications."
The new operations center, which will be about 43,000 square feet, will support operations of a Department of Defense Satellite Communications System and other DOD and Army organizations. About 150 people will support 24/7 operations.
The new headquarters and administrative building replaces a temporary building. It will house a permanent staff of 12 with classroom and training areas for about 50 additional people. The operation center will be approximately 6,880 square feet.
A repair and utility shop will replace the current building.
Martin explained that the current facility is "inadequate and in a state of disrepair with major foundation failures."
The shop, at 5,736 square feet, will accommodate the "implementation of base operations support functions and will also accommodate eight personnel," he said.
The Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, managed the project for the Army.
Although the project, at a cost of $34,801,408, is expected to be completed at the end of 2013, the benefits will begin immediately with construction that will help the local economy and businesses, said Garfield, adding that the labor force will be contracted from the local area.
"With the completion of construction," said Martin, echoing Garfield's sentiments, the "communications station will become the premiere satellite operations facility in the world."