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Third Army, 20th Fighter Wing work together to ensure BRAC transition a success

Feb 17, 2011

By Staff Sgt. Beth Lake, Third Army/USARCENT Public Affairs

In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure committee mandated that Fort McPherson, Ga. close, and the Third Army headquarters be moved to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

That means approximately 1,400 new military and civilians in the workforce, many with their Families, will be entering Shaw AFB, shopping at the Base Exchange, using the gym, taking their children to the child development center, and utilizing other facilities when the command complete its move later this summer.

When the BRAC decision was announced, Third Army immediately began to work with the Air Force to ensure the BRAC timeline would be met, explained Lt. Col. Malcolm Earles, Third Army/U.S. Army Central Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Relocation.

"There were a lot of meetings and right off the bat we needed to determine what resources and buildings were needed in order for Third Army to conduct their mission here," said Col. Charles L. Moore Jr., 20th Fighter Wing Commander. "We had to make sure we had all of the infrastructure, different facilities, and people to help take care of Third Army personnel and their Families."

Moore explained that this meant they had to look at what Shaw currently had, and what it would need, in order to accommodate the new personnel.

Many new construction projects are currently underway to get the base ready for Third Army's arrival.

"Things are coming along great," Moore said. "The Third Army building is on schedule. It's a beautiful facility. All other construction projects we have going on here are on schedule, to include the addition to our child development center and additional manning in our medical clinic and medical services."

The new Child Development Center annex opened in June 2010 and accommodates 96 children, including 14 children from Third Army's advanced party.

Additions to Shaw scheduled to be completed in 2011

Post Exchange: A $11.6 million Army Air Force Exchange Service Shopping Center is scheduled to be completed in May and will include a satellite pharmacy, concessions and a food court.
Fitness Center: A $6.6 million addition to the current fitness center is scheduled to be completed in May and a $5.6 million fitness annex currently under construction next to Third Army's new headquarters building is scheduled to be completed in June.

Dormitory: A new dormitory that can house 144 airmen and Soldiers is scheduled to be completed in November.

With the increase in personnel and Family members, it was also important to ensure there would be a smooth flow of traffic on base.

Moore explained that the base will expand to have three gates, one of which will be by Third Army's new headquarters

"As we see this increase of 1,400 people that could potentially be coming on to base each day, in addition to what we have now, the new gates will help relieve the congestion," Moore said. "The local community has been great with helping us to work on the efforts to help us connect that to the main highway 378, whether it be with new lights, turn lanes, grading out the roadway, etc."

Third Army's move to Shaw AFB will bring a $120 million economic impact to the local community as well as bring two major commands to the same location.

"One of the big benefits to having them here is you have Air Force Central and U.S. Army Central at the same facility working side by side and I think there is a synergistic effect that is going to be tremendous for our war fighting capabilities," Moore said.

"Our new facility will improve the way Third Army does business," Lt. Gen. William G. Webster, Third Army/USARCENT commanding general said. "We are thankful to the local community, the 20th Fighter Wing, the state, and the many contract engineers who have worked closely with Third Army to bring this complex move to fruition."

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