A ground-breaking ceremony was held July 12 to kick-off construction of the Ordnance Training Support Facility.
Brig. Gen. David Wilson, Chief of Ordnance, hosted the event and participants in the ceremony included members from Headquarters, Department of the Army; the Center for Military History; the Ordnance School; Installation Management Command; and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In 2009, the Ordnance Corps celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony of what is nearly 3 million square feet of new construction for the campus located on Fort Lee, said Wilson.
“There was only one thing missing – a permanent and fitting home for over 10,000 artifacts and pieces of heavy equipment that are currently dispersed across multiple storage locations here at Fort Lee and at Anniston Army Depot in Alabama,” he said. “The training support facility will provide a central location where we can bring our historical treasures together and house them in a state-of-the-art facility that will ensure they are managed and protected in a manner that meets legal and regulatory requirements, and honors their historical significance.
“The preservation of obsolete, prototype, experimental, first-production or field-modified materiel is valuable for the research and development of combat doctrine and materiel capabilities that support the joint war-fighter’s decisive action against complex and evolving threats in current and future operating environments, he continued. “But even more exciting to the U.S. Army Ordnance School, this facility will fill a mission-essential training requirement that supports TRADOC’s core function of education and the Army’s strategic objective to produce not only the best trained Soldiers, but those who are capable of critical thinking and problem solving.”
The facility also supports a CASCOM directive to drive intellectual discourse to produce innovative solutions to complex challenges by enhancing training to ordnance students.
“Teaching military history is an essential part of Soldier education, leader development and the professionalization of the Army,” said Wilson. “The use of historic artifacts in training is a proven and effective method of teaching modern history. To capitalize on the effective use of artifacts in training, it is Army policy for service schools to use historic collections to enhance classes in basic, advanced, specialized, noncommissioned officer and officer instruction.
“This training support facility – with its on-site classrooms, expansive macro storage area, and climate-controlled storage areas for micro artifacts, ammunition and arms – will allow us to uncrate and display these items for use in training our ordnance Soldiers and leaders,” he continued.
The facility construction is scheduled to be completed in 2019.