By Sgt. Michael Reinsch
U.S. Army Europe
HEIDELBERG, Germany — The new Gen. John Shalikashvili Mission Command Center will be the new home for most of the staff of U.S Army Europe and is located at the newly named Gen. Lucius D. Clay Kaserne, U.S. Army Airfield in Wiesbaden, Germany.
"The Mission Command Center, besides being visually and structurally phenomenal, will provide the U.S. Army in Europe with a state-of-the-art environment for planning, programming and managing operations for the headquarters," said David V. Fulton, director for the USAREUR Relocation Task Force Wiesbaden Mission Support Element.
The actual construction of the building took about 22 months and was finished in March.
"[The MCC] will allow the majority of the USAREUR staff to be co-located in one facility to improve information sharing and collaborative staff planning," said Roger Gerber, director for the Transformation Stationing Management Office, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden. "It also has very extensive information technology capabilities, allowing the facility to be used for a variety of missions with joint and coalition forces."
The 285,000 square-foot building includes a 130-work station operations center; multiple video-teleconferencing rooms; and a multi-purpose, 200-seat training and briefing room.
"The building was designed to be very generic and adaptable to any headquarters staff element. Throughout the building there are standard "pods," each with 50 work stations," Gerber said. "These pods are self-contained and can be configured to meet the requirements of a staff section. This allows a lot of flexibility in how the building will be used."
The state-of-the-art MCC was also constructed to meet the complex information technology requirements of a headquarters facility, said George VanCook, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District MCC resident engineer.
"Approximately 80% of the entire floor space is raised allowing for controlled flexibility of purpose in meeting current and future IT needs," VanCook said.
The MCC is designed to be energy efficient and environmentally conscious. It is intended to save $120,000 per year in energy costs, said Bryce Jones, USACE Europe District Team Leader for the MCC project.
More than 55 percent of the building materials used in construction were harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site. This reduced the carbon footprint of the project and also assisted in sustaining local businesses.
"The MCC will enhance and improve the command's ability to integrate, coordinate and synchronize operations," Fulton said. "It's designed to be a collaborative environment where we leverage the latest in technology to communicate, coordinate, maintain and share continuous situational awareness with U.S. European Command, Department of the Army, partner nations, host-nation governments, NATO, and forward-deployed operational commands."
The building was named in a ceremony June 14 as a memorial to Gen. John Shalikashvili who was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1936 and was the first foreign-born American Soldier to be appointed as a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Shalikashvili achieved distinction, while serving as the deputy commander of USAREUR and Seventh Army from September 1989 to August 1991, during which time he achieved considerable success as the first commander of Operation Provide Comfort, the peacekeeping and humanitarian mission in northern Iraq after the Gulf War.
"On a daily basis in the Mission Command Center, the USAREUR staff will do what it currently does in Heidelberg," Fulton said. "However, when we are in the MCC, our capability is greater due to the collaboration and synchronization the MCC provides."