ARCENT groundbreaking ceremony

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Groundbreaking for the new Headquarters, 3rd Army/United States Army Central is scheduled for 10 a.m. here Aug. 17. 

The 20th Fighter Wing is hosting the ceremony, which will include remarks by Col. Dean Anderson, 20th FW vice commander, Joseph McElveen, Jr., Sumter mayor, Maj. Gen. William Holland, 9th Air Force commander, and Lt. Gen. William Webster, Jr., 3rd Army commander. 

In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended that the United States Army relocate the 3rd Army headquarters here since the United States Air Force's Central Command headquarters is already at Shaw. 

Third Army headquarters will move from facilities at Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem, Ga. to Shaw. The 3rd Army headquarters will be distributed primarily among three separate facilities: command control facility, Headquarters, Headquarters Company facility, and the tactical equipment maintenance facility. 

The main facility will be approximately 320,000 sq. ft. and will support 1,500 personnel from the major staff groups. The HHC facility will be approximately 25,000 sq. ft. and will support approximately 50 personnel from the staffing groups. 

The TEMF will be approximately 15,000 sq. ft. and will support approximately 15 personnel for administration and equipment maintenance. The structure will include repair bays, administrative offices and a secure storage area. 

The energy-efficient buildings will be designed to meet silver-level requirements of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The estimated cost of the new facility is $92 million. 

Like the Air Force's Central Command, 3rd Army focuses on U.S. operations in the Middle East.The new headquarters is expected to be operational by September 2011. Soldiers and their families will begin arriving at Shaw next summer. 

NOTE: Media are invited. Please plan to arrive at the Shaw main gate on US 378 no later than 8:45 a.m. Media arriving after that time will not be admitted. Army Lt. Gen. William G. Webster, commanding general, 3rd Army, will be available for a brief interview immediately after the ceremony. To attend you must RSVP by phoning 803-895-2018.