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Site unveiled for ADA Complex at Fort Sill

Fort Sill_It's yet another official sign that Fort Sill's additional soldiers being relocated as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) hearings are coming to Southwest Oklahoma.  Fort Sill, Lawton, and Oklahoma officials joined together at a Tuesday ceremony to view the site of the new Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Complex.  The building for the new complex will cost $128 million to build.  The BRAC projection is that more than 10,000 new people will settle in Comanche County.

Everyone there gathered to see the tangible results of BRAC in action - the site for the new home of the ADA Brigade.  Fort Sill's new 31st ADA Brigade Commander Colonel Dan Karbler says the complex will be a state-of-the-art facility where his soldiers to live and work.  "What you see being built here behind us is really the spirit of BRAC law," he said.  "It will include a motor pool facility, headquarters and barracks for the brigade headquarters, as well as three battalions worth of soldiers."

Officials say the project will take just over 600 days to complete.  Construction began in May, 2008, and Karbler, along with Garrison Commander Colonel Robert Bridgford, hopped into a tractor to do some of the dirty work.  "I'm anxious to see what's going to happen here, and can kind of visualize it now," said Bridgford.  For Karbler, it's quite a change - he once did budgeting for the Army at the Pentagon.  "To actually come here and see that the money is being applied - earth being moved, and grounds being broken, and buildings going to be built - it really does me a great pride to see us move forward," he said.

Colonel Karbler says that the new complex will be a great addition to the Lawton-Fort Sill community.  "Soldiers will step out of the barracks and see the Lawton water tower right there just further symbolizing the bond between the Fort Sill and Lawton communities," he said.

The military plans on spending almost $500 million over the next seven years - which is good news for Lawton.  "We've talked for several years about the 10,000 folks coming here:  soldiers, civilians and family members," said Karbler.  "You've seen it with the ADA complex being built.  We uncased the 31st ADA Colors last week, and now we're doing the building of their facilities.  It's just a win-win for the whole organization." 

The 31st Battalion should move into the complex by May, 2010.  Fort Sill also is about to begin construction on a new Armed Forces Reserve Center - a $39 million project for the National Guard and Reserve Command.

Count on 7News to keep you updated on BRAC's progress.

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