Base makes room for trainees

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Fort Gordon is growing. For a year, at least.

More than 3,000 additional enlisted men and women will be coming to the base in June for their communications training. In the meantime, Fort Gordon officials are preparing for the new members of the 15th Signal Brigade by constructing six temporary barracks and a new dining facility off Chamberlain Avenue. The $22.8 million project is scheduled to be complete in May, a few weeks before the tenants arrive.

"It's kind of a ballet," said Joe Capps, deputy commander of the Signal Center, who acts as the "dean" of the University of Information Technology.

"Everything has to happen at the right time and right now it looks like it will," he said.

New recruits were expected, but not at this level. The base is ready to handle the influx of students because of yearly contingency funding that is set aside for just such situations, Mr. Capps said. But in this case, the contingency, also called a TRAP, or Training Resources Arbitration Panel, is the largest in years, fort officials said.

Each year, Fort Gordon trains about 15,000 privates to create and run tactical computer networks, radios, cell phone systems and satellite communication systems. The length of training can range from several weeks to nine months. This influx of students, most of whom come straight from basic training, will push that annual number near 18,000. The extra soldiers will crowd housing and dining facilities, prompting the need for new construction.

"This was a big one," Mr. Capps said.

The added personnel are not expected to make too much of a difference in other areas, though. Mr. Capps said the influx of students isn't like moving a brigade, which would involve moving families also, so the impact will be less on the rest of the base. They will be without cars so motorists shouldn't expect too much of a problem getting around the base.

"Of all the bases I've been on this one is probably better off in terms of institutional infrastructure," he said.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

BY THE NUMBERS


3,175 - Additional soldiers coming to Fort Gordon for Signal Center training


$22,889,624 - Cost to construct six temporary barracks and one new dining facility for soldiers

4,000-5,000 - The number of soldiers undergoing signal training at any given time

Source: Joe Capps, deputy commander of the Signal Center

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/08 - 05:17 am
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Super to see Ft. Gordon

Super to see Ft. Gordon growing. By the way, I can't believe Joe Capps called the fort a base. Army forts are known as just that...forts, not bases.

easterbunny
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easterbunny 03/25/08 - 06:18 am
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You're right, they aren't

You're right, they aren't bases. However, typically we will call it a Post. Post or Fort would be the proper terminology. But who really cares.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 03/25/08 - 06:35 am
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A rose by any other name ....

A rose by any other name ....

willietrunk
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willietrunk 03/25/08 - 09:16 am
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It is sad when Augusta is

It is sad when Augusta is praising the expansion of a military installation. I guess this what happens when your infrastructure goes south. When will a manufacturing plant or big call center or researcher facility be attracted to Augusta and bring hundreds or even thousands of jobs. This is pure sadness. It will be only a couple of years before Columbus or Valdosta has stolen Augusta's thunder, or has that already happened!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/08 - 10:54 am
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Ft. Benning in Columbus is

Ft. Benning in Columbus is gaining tens of thousands of soldiers and they doin't appear too upset by it. Augusta has gained a few large call centers in the past couple of years. Also, ADP, the national accounting company, is building a huge campus off Wheeler Rd. Valdosta???LOL

MartinezWest Augusta
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MartinezWest Augusta 03/25/08 - 12:34 pm
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I don't think augusta wants

I don't think augusta wants anymore large call centers. We just got teleperfomance, t-mobile, and ADP all in under a year. Thats well over 2,000 jobs right there. And people in columbus all they do is talk about ft. benning getting new soldiers. Augusta nevers makes a huge deal when ft. gordon is growing. And ft. gordon is growing everyday every year.

MartinezWest Augusta
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MartinezWest Augusta 03/25/08 - 12:37 pm
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Also valdosta would have to

Also valdosta would have to pull away from athens, brunswick, or albany first to pass augusta. And columbus would have to pull away from macon which i don't see really happening. Besides atlanta, augusta is the next place for growth. If savannah crime reputation didn't hurt it. Or athens was already a larger city then maybe but augusta is to far ahead already. And macon and columbus are too close to atlanta.

bigbert9980
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bigbert9980 03/25/08 - 05:57 pm
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Columbus!! Have you lost

Columbus!! Have you lost your mind I was there just there couple of weeks ago. If you think Augusta is behind then go to Columbus they just got their first SAM club and a SuperWalmart, in fact two of them and they really blew it up all over the news talking how many jobs it will bring. Now that sad!! Augusta had a SuperWalmarts and SAMS at least 15 years. Valdosta!!! are you serous LOL!!!!!!
Thats like Augusta and Thompson no comparison what so ever shouldn't be in the same sentence. WillieTrunk you need to be banned for posting a comment like that.

bigbert9980
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bigbert9980 03/25/08 - 06:00 pm
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Besides Columbus isn't known

Besides Columbus isn't known for nothing but the military base and maybe the Infantry museum. Just one big suburb.

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