By Melissa Bower, Fort Leavenworth LampOctober 27, 2011
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Oct. 27, 2011) -- A new home for the Basic Course of the Civilian Education System is the latest benefit to the repurposing of buildings at the historic U.S. Disciplinary Barracks.
The facility has housed Basic Course classes for the CES within the Army Management Staff College since August, and will integrate other courses and the AMSC headquarters to Fort Leavenworth from Fort Belvior, Va., next year. An exact date for integration has not been set.
AMSC and Fort Leavenworth officials celebrated the opening of the facility Oct. 21.
Steve Wilberger, deputy commandant of AMSC, said with budget cuts coming to both Army civilians and Soldiers, the Army will become more dependent on subject matter experts.
"We are the subject matter experts," Wilberger said. "We are the workers the Army relies on to get things done."
He said although there is a difficult change ahead for the Army in terms of finance, it can be countered with a leadership culture of enthusiasm.
"We are resolute, innovative and dedicated in our service to the nation," he said. "I'm confident we will be even stronger when we join our two geographically separated teams."
Dale Ormond, deputy to the commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, said Army civilians help provide continuity and context for Army leaders to ensure the changes they make are positive ones.
Ormond said there are many partnership opportunities with the Command and General Staff College and AMSC students.
"Take advantage of this situation we have at Fort Leavenworth," Ormond told students. "It will only help you, and will only help our Army."
Four CES courses are taught within AMSC: the online Foundation Course, the Basic Course, the Intermediate Course and the Advanced Course. There are also various leader development courses.
AMSC Command Programs include the Garrison Precommand Course, Garrison Command Sergeant Major Course, General Officer Senior Commander Course, and others.
The two-week resident portion of the Basic Course is taught in the new building. On the first day of class, students are issued an AMSC laptop with a network owned by AMSC. Students typically stay at Hoge Barracks and are on a roster for special permission to dine at the Fort Leavenworth Dining Facility.
The newly renovated building has 14 modern classrooms with videoteleconferencing capabilities, two conference rooms, office space for 45 staff members, two break rooms and a network operations center. Students can connect via VTC to other AMSC rooms as well as Eisenhower Auditorium and Marshall Auditorium at the Lewis and Clark Center.
Original construction of the H-shaped building was completed in 1929, around the time the USDB was deactivated and taken over by the U.S. Department of Justice from 1929 to 1940. The building was used for a hospital for about 40 years, then as a medical and dental clinic. Original features such as the terrazzo floors, tile mosaic floors and "recuperating" porches have been restored, and bars on the windows remain.
The new CES classroom facility joins many other repurposed buildings at the old USDB site. Inmates were transferred into the new USDB in 2002. The entire complex is 12.5 acres, surrounded by a rock wall that varies in height from 14 to 41 feet. The largest building that once housed up to 1,500 inmates at a time, known as "The Castle," was torn down in 2004.
Inside the walls, Pope Hall has been renovated and is used for the Battle Command Battle Lab and Capability Development Integration Directorate. Building 468, along the west side of the complex, was renovated for the Mission Command Training Program. Another building serves as MCTP's operations team.
Arts and Crafts and the 12th Brick Grille moved into the south-facing exterior buildings in 2009.