News: Corps oversees construction on new ‘battle lab’
Story by Patrick Bloodgood
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. – Construction is underway to expand the capabilities of a laboratory tasked by the Army to train soldiers in an ever -changing wartime environment.
The Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group battle laboratory celebrated its construction start in a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday on post.
The $65 million complex, which is being built by Newport News, Va.- based W.M. Jordan Company, will expand the AWG's capability to program new and different scenarios based on real-world experiences for which soldiers can train — prior to boots being on the ground.
“In today’s challenges and tomorrow’s uncertain conflicts, we must field an Army that must rapidly dominate any operational environment and achieve decisive results across a full range of missions,” said Col. Patrick Mahaney Jr., Asymmetric Warfare Group commander, in his ceremony speech. “What we have here will enable us to assist the force to do just that.”
The battle lab will provide soldiers with different terrain features – ranging from urban to rural locations – in one site. The overall goal is to train soldiers to quickly adjust to changing enemy tactics and environments.
“This provides the Army with an area where we can model scenarios and work on rapid combat-solution development and soldier adaptability,” said Bill Mizell, Asymmetric Battle Lab operations director.
Not only will the project enhance the training of soldiers, but the local economy as well. The project is bringing in more than 200 jobs and, combined with three other firing rages being built simultaneously, the area is seeing around a $91 million investment.
"This Army investment exceeds any single current corporate investment in Caroline County," said Lt. Col. Jack Haefner, Fort A.P. Hill garrison commander, in reference to a new distribution center in Carmel Church, Va.
Project construction is expected to be complete in October of 2013.