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Posted 5/1/2012

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By Patrick Bloodgood
Norfolk District

FORT A.P. HILL, Va. — Construction is underway to expand the capabilities of a laboratory tasked by the Army to train Soldiers in an ever -changing wartime environment.

The Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group battle laboratory celebrated its construction start in a ground-breaking ceremony on the post, Apr. 26, 2012. The construction, which  is overseen by the  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District, will provide the Army with an area to test and adapt operating procedures to ever-changing wartime scenarios.

The $65 million complex, which is being built by Newport News, Va.- based W.M. Jordan Company, will expand the AWG's capability to program new and different scenarios based on real-world experiences for which Soldiers can train -- prior to boots being on the ground.

"In today's challenges and tomorrow's uncertain conflicts, we must field an Army that must rapidly dominate any operational environment and achieve decisive results across a full range of missions," said Col. Patrick Mahaney Jr., Asymmetric Warfare Group commander, in his ceremony speech. "What we have here will enable us to assist the force to do just that."

The battle lab will provide the Army with facilities to quickly replicate and quickly devise means and methods to defeat evolving threats on the battlefield.

"This provides the Army with an area where we can model scenarios and work on rapid combat-solution development and Soldier adaptability," said Bill Mizell, Asymmetric Battle Lab operations director.

Not only will the project enhance the training of Soldiers, but the local economy as well. The project is bringing in more than 200 jobs and, combined with three other firing rages being built simultaneously, the area is seeing around a $91 million investment.

"This Army investment exceeds any current corporate investment in Caroline County," said Lt. Col. Jack Haefner, Fort A.P. Hill garrison commander.

Project construction is expected to be complete in October of 2013.