News Stories

State-of-the-Art Facilities Enhancing U.S. Army Special Operations Command Operational Efficiency at Fort Bragg

Published March 13, 2018

Special Operations Forces are becoming more relied upon for missions in support of geographic combatant commanders or U.S. ambassador requirements.  They operate at a grass roots level by training, advising and living alongside people of foreign cultures, and they develop understanding and wield influence through a network of personnel and assets, and formations represent means to obtain understanding.

   At Fort Bragg, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is managing the construction of high-tech facilities that are designed to meet the needs of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.  The pace of construction is intense and is changing the face of the installation.  Decades-old buildings from bygone Army eras are being replaced by more modern and efficient buildings.  Corps of Engineers project managers work closely with the special operations community to ensure that the construction is on time, on budget and fits the operational profile of the green berets.   

   “USACE is nearing completion of the $9-million Indoor Firing Range and recently completed the $61-million Language and Cultural Center,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser, the Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations.  “Both facilities will enhance Special Operations Forces (SOF) capabilities.  Other SOF facilities under construction include two different Battalion Operations Facilities, a Special Tactics Facility, and the Training Command Building. There are quite a few additional facilities that are in the various stages of design and construction on Fort Bragg.  And there are even more projects in the I pipeline as USACE supports USASOC project development as additional USASOC projects compete in the Military Construction process for future projects."  

   “They know what they want, they need it then, right now, just like they expect in their own missions,” said Ron Cannady, Chief of the Wilmington District’s Fort Bragg USASOC Resident Engineer Office. “And at the corps we pride ourselves in trying to be able to meet those missions and to work with them through any bumps along the way, to readjust, to make that happen in their timeline.”     

   What‘s bringing the special operations community into a new era of operational efficiency is the consolidation of its facilities.  Units and their facilities used to be scattered around Fort Bragg which wasted valuable time and resources.  Now they’re located in centralized areas.

   “We have a battalion operations facility and a tactical maintenance facility that are purpose built for the unit,” said 3rd Special Forces Group Engineer Maj. Dan Fox.  "So from that the unit gains a lot of efficiencies not only in the sense of energy efficiencies that the building provides saving maintenance dollars for the unit, but also in operations.  By consolidating the unit they’re no longer having to drive across Fort Bragg to get to their storage warehouse, equipment or drive across Fort Bragg to get to the equipment. Everything is brought here to one facility.”

   Speed and precise coordination are critical during a special operations mission.  But planning for missions also requires time checks and constant communication.  The new facilities are designed to take soldiers all the way through the planning phase to preparation and finally to execution of the mission.    

   “Now with the new facilities, everything is under one roof,” said USASOC Command Engineer Col. Lee Hicks.  “When they finish their planning, which is right next to their team room, they go downstairs, grab their specialized equipment and move on out. It’s very efficient and cuts down on a lot of wasted time going back and forth between different facilities.”  

What makes the buildings invaluable to special operations is that they’re designed to adapt to technological advancements such as high-tech communications systems that require frequent upgrades.  And when it comes to paying monthly utility bills the Army is saving money by incorporating cost-saving measures such as specialized windows that block harsh sunlight on hot summer days, and lights that shut off automatically when no one is in a room. 

   “The cost savings actually come in the lifecycle of the building,” Cannady said.  “A lot of times the upfront costs you put into it may be the same or a little bit more than normal construction.  However, if you look at the long-term costs to operate and maintain that facility that’s where you come into the savings from the lower power bills and lower utility usage.” 

   As units move into their new facilities the buildings themselves transition from becoming lifeless, tech-heavy shells to homes away from homes. Soldiers tailor their buildings to reflect their unit’s personality and unique characteristics.  And on the walls are pictures of brothers in arms.  Brothers who fought and died for each other and for their country.  

   For more information about the U.S. Army Special Operations Command go to the following link;