FORT LEE, Va. (Feb. 16, 2012) -- A near decade-long vision here will soon become a reality.

Fort Lee broke ground this week on a new Training Support Center, bringing to fruition eight years of effort to enhance the installation's training resources, said H. Bryan Holtman, chief, training division, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.

"It's been a long time," he said. "Eight years ago, we didn't have a training support center at all. We were told to put one together with one person and a total of $42,000."

Today, the TSC has a 19-person authorization in order to support Fort Lee and assigned areas of support.

The TSC is a U.S. Army Garrison operation that supports Soldier training programs. It includes facilities that issue a variety of training aides such as small-arms replicas and houses simulation equipment like the Engagement Skills Trainer marksmanship simulation system. The operation has evolved and grown larger over the years and currently includes three facilities.

The new TSC will be a far cry from the first shared facility. Located between the Staff Judge Advocate, building 1108, and the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, building 1107, the new TSC will cover more than 28,000 square feet, including more than 14,000 square feet of dedicated warehouse space.

Holtman said the extra space will allow the consolidation of three smaller facilities it now operates.

"We currently have warehouses in three different locations," he said. "So now when our customers want something, they won't have to go to three different locations to get it. It'll be a one-stop operation."

In addition to the consolidation, the new facility will have a capability none of the current facilities can offer.

"We will be able to do our own fabrication here," said Holtman, noting that many of the training aides can be made in-house. He added that fabrication operations will include a wood shop and is a potential cost reduction/avoidance.

Aster Grate, the TSC training officer, said the new TSC will accommodate training for roughly 1,000 Soldiers a week at peak operation. That is about the same number of Soldiers the TSC currently handles, but Grate said it will be a smoother operation.

"It will help us better support the training missions of the Soldiers at Fort lee," he said.

The new TSC is scheduled to open March of next year.