The U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) is a geographic combatant command responsible for planning and conducting U.S. military operations in the Central Region, which consists of 27 countries in the Middle East, Southwest and Central Asia, the Horn of Africa and the island nation of Seychelles.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hired Burns & McDonnell to provide programming, planning and design services for a new headquarters that supports the USCENTCOM and its mission as the command and control center for the war in Afghanistan and global war on terrorism.
The project is part of an overall $225 million upgrade to USCENTCOM's campus, which includes a Joint Intelligence Command Center and other facilities.
Central Command took on a major role in the fight against terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and as a result required a more efficient campus on McDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.
Central Command required a flexible headquarters that could change depending on its ever-changing war-fighting mission. The building also required a high level of security and was designed while the client was engaged in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"This was definitely one of the most challenging and interesting projects we've ever done," says Eric Kraus, project manager in the Aviation & Facilities Group.
It required tremendous coordination.
"Nailing down the design was like trying to corral an amoeba and turn it into a shape that would hold," Kraus says.
Burns & McDonnell worked alongside the military's top brass on a round-the-clock schedule amid a steady stream of dignitaries from coalition forces to complete the design in 2009.
The firm consolidated and integrated the functions of USCENTCOM into a four-story building designed to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold level of certification. The firm routed communications networks under the floor so work stations could easily be moved. Moveable furniture and demountable partitions also were installed.
The building's second floor is a specialized, highly secure area built to CIA standards for the safe handling and keeping of classified information from intelligence sources, methods or analytical processes. Access to this area is limited and closed to the public.
The building also includes more than 130 offices and executive suites for general officers. Its sustainable features include bio-swales, pervious pavements and indigenous vegetation.
Burns & McDonnell designed a world-class headquarters adjacent to the four-story, 270,000-square-foot Joint Intelligence Command Center the firm finished in 2008. The command center, where military and civilian intelligence professionals collect, process and store classified information, is closer to the new headquarters, which enhances efficiency. The upgraded campus, which includes a regional training center, USCENTCOM conference center and central utility plant, is the largest military project Burns & McDonnell has completed.
For more information, contact Eric Kraus, 816-822-3839.