By John Harlow/TRADOC News ServiceMarch 10, 2008
NEW YORK (Army News Service, Mar. 10, 2008) - The commanding general of the Combined Arms Center, Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, visited the Times Square military recruiting station this morning to talk to recruiters and survey the repairs made after an explosion damaged the station last Thursday.
"I just wanted to take some time to thank our recruiters for their service," said Caldwell. "They face tough challenges everyday and with the explosion outside their station made the day even tougher. I also wanted to thank the NYPD, the federal authorities involved, and our Corps of Engineers for the hard work they are all doing."
After receiving notification of the explosion Thursday morning, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command directed all Army recruiting stations assume a higher level of awareness. By mid-afternoon, New York City police and investigators from the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force completed their initial investigation and the Army's Corps of Engineers stepped in to make temporary repairs and ensure the structure was safe to occupy. Within hours the recruiting center was reopened for business.
Less than 12 hours after the explosion caused damage to front of the building and entry way, Staff Sgt. Ruben Avila, the station commander, conducted a recruiting appointment in the station.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, said the bomb was a "low-order explosive" made with powder placed in a green ammunition box. "It was not a particularly sophisticated device," he said.
In a letter to Army recruiters world-wide, the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., said, "this is a great testimony to the resilience of our Soldiers and their adherence to the tenets of the Warrior Ethos - I will always place the mission first; I will never accept defeat; I will never quit."
"I'm extremely proud of the job our recruiters are doing," said Caldwell. "I just want them to know that they have the support from Army leadership as they recruit tomorrow's Soldiers."
Caldwell was in New York to speak to Business Executives for National Security (BENS), a national, nonpartisan organization of business leaders who apply the lessons of their successful businesses to making our country safer.