by Sgt. Jessica A. DuVernay, 305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment/9th Mission Support Command
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers who live and work on the beautiful island of Saipan will be getting a much-needed upgrade to their reserve center and adjacent troop store in the coming months.
“Your support for these citizen Soldiers is vital to their success here as we continue to build on the strengths of their small but mighty team,” Curda said, thanking local officials in attendance to include Mike Tenorio, representative for Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, and Viola Alepuyo, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army.Guest speakers included Victor Hocog, Lt. Governor, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Navy Capt. Stephanie Jones, Regional Engineer, Naval Facilities Joint Region Marianas, and Rick Fair, AAFES Regional Manager for Guam, Saipan and Korea.Construction of both projects — the USAR facility revitalization and AAFES troop store – is scheduled to be complete by March of 2017.
The Reserve center revitalization project accomplishes three objectives: It drastically improves the safety environment, by fortifying the structure from extreme weather conditions such as seasonal typhoons common to the area; it triples the existing training area by adding 3,000 square feet of administration offices, classrooms and maintenance areas; and it supports the Army’s energy net zero initiatives by outfitting the center with solar panels, a solar water heater and energy efficient lighting.
The construction phase of the revitalization project comes after a lengthy planning and assessment phase.
Due to the center’s location among numerous World War II historic sites and battlegrounds, a thorough environmental impact study was completed to ensure that it would be safe to perform construction on site.
The discovery of ordinance between the reserve center’s original two structures affirmed the need for the revitalization. The Theater Support Group-Pacific, headquartered and co-located with the 9th MSC at Fort Shafter Flats, Hawaii, is overseeing the construction project.
The TSG provides continuous base operations sustainment, facility maintenance management and Soldier support to enhance the 9th MSC readiness throughout the United States Army Pacific Command area of responsibility.
“These dramatic improvements will boost the morale and readiness of these Soldiers,” Curda said. “[It will] serve as a recruiting tool for young adults entering the work force, whose drill pay contributes to local economy.”