By Maj Carlos M. CuebasJune 1, 2012
San Juan, PR- The US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Army Reserve Center at Puerto Nuevo, a neighborhood in the Puerto Rico's capital city, 1 June 2012.
The construction of these new Army Reserve facilities is part of a larger modernization of the Army Reserve infrastructure across the island.
The new construction will create approximately 200 jobs during the duration of the building process. 95 percent of these jobs will be hired locally, which will have a much needed positive impact in the economy of the Caribbean island.
The new facilities will be occupied by the 597th Quartermaster Company, currently based in Caguas, Puerto Rico, a suburb located at the central-east region of the US territory.
The new building will have 30,000 square feet and will provide training space and a vehicle and equipment maintenance area, as well as a storage area and a parking.
"With this ceremony we continue taking the critical steps to ensure our troops have the resources and facilities needed to conduct administrative activities, plan operations and train personnel, in order to effectively continue supporting our nation's needs," said Brig. Gen. Fernando Fernández, senior US Army Reserve Officer in the Caribbean.
There are other reserve centers being constructed currently in Mayaguez ( west side of the island) with an investment of 18 million dollars, and at Fort Buchanan with an investment of 21 million dollars.
In recent years, there were two new Army Reserve Centers inaugurated at Ceiba, at the former Naval Navy Base in the east side of the island, with an investment of 24 million dollars. There was another center inaugurated at Juana Diaz, in the south region of the island, with an investment of 14 million dollars.
The Reserve Center to be constructed at Puerto Nuevo represents an investment of 12 million dollars.
According to Department of Defense figures, the Army Reserve invested over 140 million dollars in the island's economy in 2011.
The Army Reserve Puerto Rico role has taken a renewed local relevancy due to the new authority in this year's Defense Department authorization act, which allows the reserve forces to be called to duty in response to natural disasters or emergencies in the homeland, and also to be mobilized for extended periods to support theater security missions around the world.
"There is no doubt that the future is bright for the Army Reserve-Puerto Rico," said Fernandez.