CECOM’s move to Aberdeen a ‘once in a generation opportunity,’ says Via

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command (CECOM) employees faced with the difficult question of whether to stay with the organization as it moves from its decades-long home at Fort Monmouth, N.J., to its new site in Aberdeen, Md., which is under construction. However, for those who chose to stay with the command, their new headquarters will be arguably more advanced than any other in the Army.

“We’re looking at BRAC as a catalyst for change … a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild,” said Maj. Gen. Dennis Via, commanding general of CECOM “But you can’t just pick up a command and move it. This is a significant and emotional event for our employees.”

The move to a purpose-built facility in Maryland will create what Via called a “center of excellence for Army [command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance],” which will be created by the nexus of the Army research laboratory, the Army test lab, the Research, Development and Engineering Command and CECOM.

A total of 54 buildings will be consolidated into a nine-building campus that will be organized by mission-related domains and vice functions. There will be a total of 1.5 million square feet, and space for 7,300 people. Via said he expects the organization will have to hire 3,500 new people to fill workforce requirements.

The new CECOM will operate in a campus environment with a state-of-the-art information technology backbone, fed by 34 miles of single-node fiber cable.

So far, 340 people are working in Maryland, with 780 more planned to transition there in 2009. The major organizational change will occur on 2010.

“The move is so complex because we can’t stop business for six months to move,” Via said. “We have to move while in contact.”

About the Author

Barry Rosenberg is editor-in-chief of Defense Systems. Follow him on Twitter: @BarryDefense.

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