20th CBRNE Command marks construction milestone for new APG headquarters

(From the left) Col. Edward Chamberlayne, Baltimore District commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Graham and Brig. Gen William E. King IV, senior leaders for the 20th CBRNE Command, sign the ceremonial beam as part of a Topping of Steel ceremony on APG North (Aberdeen), May 17, 2017. The ceremony marked a major milestone in the construction of the command’s new headquarters building. | U.S. Army photo by Angel D. Martinez-Navedo, 20th CBRNE Command

The 20th CBRNE Command recognized a milestone in the construction of the command’s newly renovated headquarters building at APG North (Aberdeen) during a topping of steel ceremony, May 17.

The 20th CBRNE commander, Brig. Gen. William E. King IV, put his signature on the final piece of structural steel along with members of the command leadership, distinguished visitors, representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and officials from Whiting-Turner Construction Company.

King told guests that everyone would have the opportunity to put their name on the steel in recognition of this particular phase of construction.

“Today is a very momentous day in recognizing the final step in the reality of this command headquarters,” he said. “This piece of steel will soon be placed at the front entrance, and it will forever mark your presence and your involvement in this significant day.”

King’s involvement in the planning of the new headquarters goes back six years, when he served as the operations officer for the organization in 2011 and then later as a senior leader for U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg in 2014.

“I was involved in the initial concept and design of these buildings,” he said, making the signing of the steel all that more meaningful to him.

The $73 million headquarters will consist of two renovated buildings on Havre de Grace Street on APG. The logistics and administration sections will be located in Building 5046 across the street from the headquarters in Building 5016.

The project is being handled by the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Whiting-Turner is the general contractor.

“We certainly understand how important it is for this renovation to go well and to deliver the type of facilities that you need to conduct your operations,” said Col. Edward Chamberlayne, district engineer for the Corps.

Chamberlayne said the complex renovation project required two buildings in order to support the needs of the headquarters.

Currently, the command’s personnel are located throughout nine different buildings on APG South (Edgewood). When finished, the entire 20th CBRNE Command complex will total 186,000 square feet and bring together 270 soldiers and more than 100 civilians and contractors.

“When this complex is completed, multiple parts of the command will be better able to work together more efficiently and effectively in our never ending worldwide response capability,” said King, adding that the command’s new combined operations and intelligence facility will have the most modern space and equipment to better operate and monitor happenings around the world within each of the combatant commands the 20th supports.

“Everyone in this new facility will be able to better support the soldiers at the pointed end of the spear as we defend liberty across our nation,” he said.

The command is expected to move into the new location in the latter part of 2018 or early 2019. The APG-based 20th CBRNE Command is the U.S. military’s only multifunctional formation that combats chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats around the globe.

By Suzan Holl, 20th CBRNE Command

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