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Military

Commandos Welcome New Digs

Camp Liberty, Baghdad, Iraq
-- The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, command and staff officially relocated to a new tactical operations center on Jan. 8.

The new structure is a drastic change from the two desert colored tents that housed the tactical operations center and the administrative logistics operations center. The dusty tents offered little cover from the elements because of open seams and holes in the roof that leaked when it rained. The new building has wooden walls, windows and a roof to protect the TOC from the Iraqi weather.

Several of the inhabitants of the office are pleased with the new building, including 1st Lt. Eric Rose, 2nd BCT plans officer.

"I'm impressed with the new building," Rose said. "It's an improvement environmentally, because we are out of the dust and there is not a leaky roof over the plans section."

The majority of the sections within the TOC have their own individual office. The old office had six foot partitions separating each individual shop and an open ceiling. The open air environment allowed for easy conversations between the different shops, said Warrant Officer 1 Shawn Lashbrook, assistant logistics officer.

"I miss the office camaraderie," Lashbrook said. "It was nice to talk to the shops next to you without having to leave your office. However it is nice having everybody under one roof."

Each office in the new TOC has new office furniture, which is a drastic change from the mismatched, second-hand furniture in the tents. Other improvements with the new building include climate controlled wall units for each office and a conference room that is twice the size of the old one.

Maj. John Aita, 2nd BCT brigade surgeon, said the new TOC has more of a professional feel than the former tents. All of the new additions are great, but there are small things he misses from the old office.

"I haven't seen any coffee makers in the new building," he said. "I miss knowing where the coffee is."

Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Whitehouse, 2nd BCT career counselor said, his office at Fort Drum is much larger than the office he works out of now but everybody must make concessions when in the field. He appreciates not having to dust off his office equipment when he gets to work every morning and cannot think of anything he misses from the old workspace.

"Is there something you can miss from the old TOC?" he asked. "Compared to a tent, there is a lot more of an office feel and we can do our administrative work."

Four solid walls and a roof overhead is a much needed improvement for the Soldiers working out of the 2nd BCT TOC.

"This is not an ergonomic American office, but it is a step up. It's not a tent," Aita said.                                                                                                                                       
 

Release #050120s



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