PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Representatives of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) broke ground for the Pacific Warfighting Center on Ford Island Aug. 29.
The $20 million state-of-the-art facility, expected to be completed July 2009, will ensure U.S. and allied forces will be ready to respond promptly and effectively to any and all contingencies in the Asia/Pacific theater of operations by providing training, mission rehearsal, and conference capabilities all in one convenient location.
"It's of huge importance to the Navy and to all of us in the joint warfare business," said Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command. "We need to train like we fight; we hear it all the time. This is our government's commitment to that."
When completed, the two-story, 34,000 square foot facility will provide a secure environment for joint/combined force commanders and their staffs to train for scenarios that can either be live, virtual or networked.
"We will have powerful capacity to develop our capabilities and to share that information and those techniques with all of our partners throughout the Pacific," said Keating.
The center will improve total force readiness by incorporating the latest in cutting edge information technology, knowledge management, simulation databases and operations, telecommunications and networking systems, and audio/visual briefing and presentation systems.
"If you're prepared for war, countries that may be thinking about doing mischief have second thoughts, so to prevent war, be ready," said U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.
Along with its training role, the center will also have the capability to serve as an operations center during times of crisis in the Pacific.
PACOM officials have chosen to build the facility on the site of Hanger 38, on historic Ford Island, because of its centralized location on Hawaii and in the Pacific.
The new facility will replace the Exercise Simulation Center on Camp H.M. Smith, which is housed in a 60-year-old former hospital.
"As good as the center's going to be, and it will be state-of-the-art, it doesn't do us any good without young men and women to serve and I'm grateful for that. So, thanks to all of them," added Keating.
For more news from U.S. Pacific Command, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/pacom/