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Posted 2/2/2012

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By Andrea Sutherland
Fort Carson

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson leaders and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Native American Services Corp shoveled the first scoop of dirt in a Jan. 27 ceremonial groundbreaking event, signifying the start of construction of the Mission Command Training Center.

"This facility gets to the heart of our mission: training Soldiers," said Col. Robert F. McLaughlin, garrison commander.

McLaughlin added that the MCTC would train Soldiers in both digital and practical training scenarios, which will "enable Soldiers to prepare for all types of conflict."

The MCTC, formerly known as the Battle Command Training Center, will offer courses for individual, collective and leader training in state-of-the-art digital classrooms, said Sean Bolduc, director of the MCTC.

Bolduc said digital training is already taking place on Fort Carson, but is spread out in buildings throughout the post.

"This campus will consolidate resources and make things more efficient," he said.

Matthew Ellis, a representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District, said the 83,000-square-foot building will be built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold standards and will include a 20,000-square-foot solar array field that will provide power to the campus. In addition to the main building, construction for 16 smaller buildings is also planned.

"This is the third training center (of its kind) constructed in the Army," said Ellis, addressing the crowd. "It takes many years and a diverse team to make this happen."

With construction continuing until June 2013 and a projected occupancy date of December 2013, troops will continue to train at existing facilities.

Once complete, troops from the 4th Infantry Division, other Fort Carson units as well as National Guard and Reserve components in Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Nebraska and New Mexico, will participate in training at the center.