Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger and Steven Chancellor unveil the street named after the business man during the ground break ceremony for the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Centers new Operational Readiness Training Complex which will consist of barracks for 1,176 troops and a dinning facility Tuesday, July 3, 2012, in Edinburgh, Indiana. The event was nearly 2 years in the works after Gov Mitch Daniels, the Indiana National Guard, Indiana Department of natural Resources and Indiana Department of Corrections agreed to exchange more then 2,000 acres of DNR land for 1200 acres of DRN land north of Camp Atterbury. STAFF PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSONfirstname.lastname@example.org
Expect more than $75 million in new construction to transform Camp Atterbury into a bigger post over the next two years.
The military installation in southern Johnson County soon will start construction on three additional dormitory-like barracks buildings that will allow it to train more service members and bring in larger units more frequently. The added housing is part of a new 66-acre complex on the north side of the post, where visiting soldiers and National Guard members will stay when they train.
Camp Atterbury expects to spend $52 million in federal funds over the next two years to build three barracks buildings and a dining facility north of Hospital Road, where the post had been during World War II, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger said. He estimates the post will spend another $25 million to expand a rail spur so units can ship vehicles, equipment and gear to Camp Atterbury for training exercises.
The projects will expand the post so it can handle its new role as a major center for training and testing, Umbarger said. The post already has built a new day care facility to help serve the additional 750 soldiers who have been stationed at Camp Atterbury to help with training.
Camp Atterbury is taking over about 1,200 acres of the neighboring Indiana National Guard and Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area, which had been part of the post and where most soldiers lived during World War II. The area later was turned over to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources because of a lack of funding. The state will preserve the remaining 5,000 acres in the wildlife area, keep all 10 lakes open and develop a new fish and wildlife area near Greencastle.
Soldiers can do realistic training in buildings and underground tunnels at the 1,100-acre facility, the largest of its kind in the United States, Umbarger said. The training facility is unique and a major reason why the U.S. Department of Defense decided to invest in Camp Atterbury at a time when it’s cutting back elsewhere, he said.
The Department of Defense has made Camp Atterbury one of five permanent mobilization stations in the country, and it will train troops for future conflicts across the world. The post has continued to remain active, such as by preparing Department of State employees and civilian contractors to help rebuild Afghanistan.
More than 100,000 soldiers and civilians have received training at Camp Atterbury during each of the last two years, post commander Col. Ivan Denton said.
“We’re bursting at the seams,” he said. “We need more bed space to remain a world-class testing and training center.”
The three new barracks buildings will increase the number of beds at the post from about 5,100 to about 6,300, Denton said.
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