By Chrissie Reilly, CECOM Staff HistorianOctober 5, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Army Team C4ISR dedicated its new state-of-the-art campus, here Sept. 15.
The buildings within the Center of Excellence campus highlight the spirit of innovation and culture of technological advancement.
APG Garrison Commander Col. Orlando W. Ortiz approved several memorialization actions for the Army Team C4ISR Center of Excellence campus, in accordance with Army Regulation 1--33, "The Army Memorial Program."
With assistance from the CECOM Historical Office, CECOM LCMC Commander Maj. Gen. Randolph P. Strong; PEO C3T Brig. Gen. Lee Price; former PEO for IEW&S Thomas Cole; CECOM Contracting Center Director Edward Elgart; and former CERDEC Director Gary Blohm selected the individuals to be memorialized.
Naming buildings on the new campus provided just one opportunity to ensure that the organizations' retain their shared cultural heritage throughout the Base Realignment and Closure process as the organizations completed their relocations from Fort Monmouth, N.J. to Maryland.
Building 6000 is named for Dr. Albert James Myer, the father of the Signal Corps. While assigned as an assistant surgeon in the Regular Army of the United States from 1854 -1860, Myer devised a military visual signaling system know as the "wigwag" signal that was adopted by the Army in 1860. A Signal Department was created, and Myer was appointed Signal Officer.
On March 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation that established the Signal Corps as a separate military branch, and Myer was appointed Chief Signal Officer with the rank of colonel. The Signal Corps of the Army was the first to be established by a national army in modern times.
Building 6001 is named for Col. Charles S. Wallace, who signed the contract with the Wright Brothers for the first military airplane in 1908, and it appears that he was on the board of officers who observed the flight trials at Fort Myer. This was a fitting memorialization decision as the building houses contracting personnel.
Building 6002 is named for FM radio pioneer Maj. Edwin Howard Armstrong. Armstrong invented three of the electronic circuits fundamental to modern radio, television and radar. Most notably, he designed an entirely new system--wide-band FM--that offered the highest-fidelity sound heard in radio at that time.
Building 6003 is named for Dr. Walter McAfee, the renowned physicist who helped put man's imprint on the moon for the first time with radar during Project Diana. McAfee's theoretical calculations determined the feasibility of the original radar "moon bounce." It was only a baby step when viewed from the perspective of the giant strides that have followed, but it made big news at the time. Many still regard it as the beginning of the Space Age.
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented McAfee with one of the first Secretary of the Army Research and Study Fellowships. McAfee was the first African-American in the Army to achieve the civil service super grade rank.
Building 6006 is named for night vision pioneer Dr. Rudolf Buser. Buser, a German native, began his civil service career in 1958 as the team leader and technical area chief at Fort Monmouth's Institute for Exploratory Research.
Buser was able to transform what was then considered an esoteric technology, or night vision technology, and develop and publicize it in a way that it could be understood and valued, according to Dr. Arthur Ballato, CERDEC's former chief scientist.
"Dr. Buser did such an all-around, complete job of 'selling' it to those prospective Army program 'funders,' and of publicizing the triumphs of such technologies, that even the most lay person could understand and appreciate NVESD's technologies," said Ballato.
Building 6007 is named for U. S . Na v y Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, a pioneer computer programmer and co-inventor of Common Business Oriented Language. Hopper received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University in 1934. She was a member of the Vassar faculty from 1931 to 1943, when she joined the Naval Reserve. Commissioned a Navy lieutenant junior grade in 1944, she was assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance and immediately became involved in the development of the then-embryonic electronic computer. Over more than four decades, she was in the forefront of computer and programming language progress.
The U.S. Navy endorsed this memorialization.
Building 6008, the mission training facility, is named for Alfred Mallette, commander of CECOM during the Gulf War. He directed CECOM's Gulf War efforts, and contributed significantly to the conceptualization of Mobile Subscriber Equipment. The Army promoted Mallette to the rank of lieutenant general on July 22, 1992 and assigned him to serve as deputy director general of the NATO Communications and Information Systems Agency.
Building 6009/10 is named for William Blair, the "father of radar," who outlined a need for radio detection as a means of identifying hostile aircraft in the latter part of the 1920's. A complete workable radar set had been developed at Fort Monmouth and demonstrated for the Secretary of War and Congress by 1937.
Locating and tracking targets by radio echoes is commonly regarded as one of the most important contributing factors to the Allied victory in World War II.