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FORSCOM, Army Reserve Command Move to Bragg

Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command on Monday unfurled their flags on Fort Bragg, officially completing their BRAC move from Atlanta six weeks ahead of the deadline.

"Fort Bragg is known best as home of the airborne and Special Forces, and soldiers of Forces Command proudly take our place alongside those heroes today here at Fort Bragg," Lt. Gen. Howard Bromberg said.

Bromberg is acting commander of Forces Command.

The ceremony makes Fort Bragg the headquarters for the Army's combat-ready conventional forces and the Army Reserve, as well as Army special operations forces and the U.S. military's counterterrorist forces that killed Osama bin Laden.

The arrival date for Gen. David Rodriguez, the four-star general who will command Forces Command, has not been determined, Bromberg said after the ceremony.

The Army dedicated the 631,000-square-foot combined headquarters at Knox and Randolph streets in memory of Gen. George C. Marshall, the five-star general who served as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's chief military adviser during World War II.

Marshall was the Army chief of staff during World War II, and Winston Churchill described him as "the organizer of victory," Bromberg said. He had a home in Pinehurst.

The 2005 Base Closure and Realignment law directed the move of the two headquarters from Fort McPherson in south Atlanta no later than Sept. 15, 2011. All three of the Army's four-star headquarters relocated under the law. Billions of dollars was spent to realign, relocate and close Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine installations throughout the United States.

The housing of the two commands under one roof on Fort Bragg "symbolizes one Army," said Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz. He is commander of U.S. Army Reserve Command at Fort Bragg and chief of the Army Reserve at the Pentagon.

Forces Command connects Fort Bragg with active-duty Army posts such as Fort Carson, Colo., Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Drum, N.Y., Stultz said.

"On this side of the building, the Army Reserve Command connects you with every community in America because those 205,000 soldiers live in the communities across America," Stultz said.

Participating in the ribbon-cutting with Bromberg and Stultz were Command Sgt. Majs. Roger Howard and Michael D. Schultz; Col. Eric R.P. Conrad, deputy commander of the Army Corps of Engineers' South Atlantic Division; and Adam Rogers, project manager for Hensel Phelps Construction Co., the contractor for building.

About 2,400 soldiers and civilians will work there, Bromberg said. More of them will be civilians than military personnel, he said. The building has a capacity of more than 2,700 workers.

About 65 percent to 70 percent of the civilian employees came from Atlanta to Fort Bragg, Bromberg said after the ceremony. The move was voluntary for civilians and mandatory for military.

The move comes at a time when national leaders are talking about enormous cuts in federal spending. Bromberg said the command tried to get ahead of those budget cuts.

"It's no secret that we've also reduced our structure as we moved," Bromberg said. "We did that intentionally. As people retired, we just didn't replace those individuals. We've actually reduced our headquarters by about 10 or 15 percent."

Among guests at the ceremony were retired Gens. James J. Lindsay of Vass and Dan K. McNeill of Fayetteville. Both are former commanders of the 82nd Airborne Division and the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. McNeill was commander of Forces Command in 2005 when the decisions were made to move the commands to Fort Bragg.

"It was something that goes back a few years," McNeill said after the ceremony. "Decisions that were made now seem to be pretty obvious, although some didn't think much of the decisions in those days. It has come out the way we all planned it ought to come out."

McNeill said there was one decision that did not go his way when he was the Forces Command commander.

"I was of the belief there ought to be a parking garage because parking was going to be a problem," he said. "They thought that was too much money." 

 

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