The Army post is competing with Fort Meade, Md., to become the next consolidated location for the cyber command that leads a corps of 21,000 soldiers and civilians worldwide to plan, coordinate and conduct network operations in defense of all Army networks.
In August, the cyber command drafted an 800-page environmental assessment to analyze the potential environmental, cultural, transportation and socioeconomic effects associated with creating a U.S. Army Cyber Command and Control Facility at either of the two posts.
The study, approved by Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Col. Sam Anderson and Public Works Director Robert Drumm, lays out five construction plans for Fort Gordon and two for Fort Meade.
“A decision has still not been announced regarding stationing for the Army Cyber Command,” Fort Gordon spokesman J.C. Mathews said Friday. “Until (one is made by the Department of the Army), we don’t have anything to add.”
The list of seven construction options at Fort Gordon and Fort Meade include:
• Constructing a 179,000-square-foot facility at Fort Gordon in a 16-acre site southwest of the intersection of 110th Avenue and 15th Street. Parking and access would also be provided.
• Renovating several buildings within Fort Gordon’s Back Hall Campus between 22nd Street to 25th Street and Chamberlain Avenue to Barnes Avenue; an additional 47,000-square-foot facility would be constructed.
• Constructing a wing on Fort Gordon’s Whitelaw Hall for the entire cyber command as part of the planned Whitelaw Hall Phase 2 development.
• Constructing a 179,000-square-foot facility at Fort Gordon on Kilbourne Street to house the entire cyber command to include parking and building access.
• Constructing a 179,000-square-foot facility at Fort Gordon on 19th Street to house the entire cyber command to include parking and building access.
• Constructing a 179,000-square-foot facility at Fort Meade within an approximately 18-acre site at the northwest corner of the post to include parking and building access.
• Constructing a 179,000-square-foot facility within Fort Meade’s East Campus area located within the National Security Agency’s fenceline and use of Building 8605 for a portion of the administrative and logistics staff. Parking and access would also be provided at this location.
Aaron Ross, the project manager for consolidation, said currently the cyber command has 156 active duty military, government civilians and contract personnel employed at four different Fort Meade locations and approximately 343 active duty military, government civilians and contract personnel employed at Fort Belvoir, Va.
However, he said, the cyber command needs facilities to “provide the capability of growing its workforce up to 1,500 personnel” and must consolidate its force structure currently at Fort Meade and Fort Belvoir into one location to maximize operational efficiency.
Though no timetable has been set on when a decision would be made on future stationing of the cyber command, Ross said once established, 156 personnel at Fort Meade and 343 personnel at Fort Belvoir would relocate to the new Command and Control Facility.
The movement of analysts to Georgia would require interim stationing during construction.
“During this time, current personnel located at Fort Belvoir and Fort Meade would be temporarily relocated to several buildings within Back Hall Campus at Fort Gordon. Renovation to these buildings may be required to accommodate the temporary stationing,” Ross wrote of Fort Gordon’s options.
As detailed in this environmental assessment, Ross said there would be expected short–term minor adverse impacts to land use, noise, potable water, sanitary sewer/wastewater and power from the construction of any of the alternatives.
He said those concerns could affect aesthetics, air quality, soils, vegetation, wildlife resources, solid waste generation, traffic and possibly stormwater capacity.
With that in mind, Ross also told cyber command leaders that its operations could continue to be conducted in existing locations at Fort Meade or Fort Belvoir. He did not recommend it though.
“Operational efficiency would continue to suffer as a result of coordinating operations occurring at two geographical separated units using substandard communication infrastructure,” he said. “Moreover, (the cyber command) would be limited in their ability to meet operational requirements by restricting workforce growth due to inadequate space accommodations.”