BRAC on track according to Sill general

FORT SILL--The Air Defense Artillery School is coming to Fort Sill and construction could begin in the next couple of months, according to Fort Sill's commanding general, Major General David Ralston.

"Money was just given to the Army Corps of Engineers just yesterday(Tuesday).  We're going to break ground in probably two months," Major General Ralston said during the 2007 Fires Seminar on Wednesday.  "It is just another example to Southwest Oklahoma that this thing (BRAC) is on track.  The ADA school is going to be up here."

As part of the 2005 BRAC Law, the Air Defense Artillery School will be moved from its current home at Fort Bliss, Texas to Fort Sill.  The move is the cornerstone of a series of moves that is set to increase the population of Lawton-Fort Sill and the surrounding area by 10,000 people as a result of BRAC.

Major General Ralston made the announcement during the 2007 Fires Seminar at Fort Sill.  The seminar attracts military contractors from around the world and experts in both field artillery and Army air defense.  The General said he was using this week to meet face-to-face with General Bob Lennox, the commandant of the Air Defense Artillery school.

"What we'll talk about, in many ways, is the material development of the two schools as we go into the future," General Ralston said.  "We'll talk about what we're doing and what industry can do to help us develop the Fires Center of Excellence."

The Fires Seminar also served as the backdrop for a special honor on Wednesday.  Former Fort Sill Commander and retired four-star General Jack Merritt was honored with a wing of Snow Hall dedicated in his honor.  Retired General Merritt was born in Lawton, joined the Army as a private and retired as a General at the end of his 35-year military career.  For the last 19 years he has been involved in Army affairs, including his current post as Chairman of the United States Field Artillery Association.