SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Family and friends joined Navy leadership during a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 15 for a new unaccompanied housing building dedicated to the memory of fallen Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Chad R. Regelin.
Naval Base San Diego Commanding Officer Capt. Curt Jones opened the event by welcoming Regelin's family members in attendance and paying homage to other buildings on base dedicated to fallen Sailors who had fought in various military campaigns throughout history.
"As we stand here today for the dedication ceremony of Regelin Hall, we are in the middle of a pantheon of heroes represented in buildings here at Naval Base San Diego," said Jones. "These are all Sailors that made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Chad paid the ultimate price. It is men like Chad who help preserve the precious gift of liberty that we Americans enjoy every day. We honor all their sacrifices."
Many who knew of or had worked with Regelin were at the dedication ceremony.
"Regelin was a talented and remarkable Sailor," said Capt. Chris Merwin, commodore, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1. "He earned the respect of his fellow teammates and was the embodiment of strong conviction. He was a very junior sailor but had a huge influence on the EOD community."
It was over four years ago on Jan. 2, 2012 when Regelin lost his life. He was conducting a foot patrol in the Upper Sangin Valley, Helmand Province in Afghanistan, when he was killed by an improvised explosive device. Regelin was last attached to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3, under the operational control of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan as an EOD special operations team leader. He was remembered during the ceremony as an outstanding leader and exceptional EOD technician.
Regelin's father Scott took a few minutes to address the audience before the ribbon cutting.
"This is really emotional," he said. "When Chad was younger, he wasn't the man you all made him out to be. The Navy polished Chad. The Navy turned him into a lot more. I appreciate everyone in the EOD family. I appreciate the fact he won't be forgotten."
According to Fleet and Family Readiness Programs Director Mary Kirby a building like Regelin Hall shows the Navy's commitment to Sailors and the community.
"Every available tool for improving quality of life and conservation efforts was brought together under one roof to support this effort," said Kirby. "It takes a village to open a barracks and this was built as a true team effort. It stands as a tribute to the heroism of Chad Regelin."
The Naval Facilities Command Southwest awarded the $63.5 million project in 2011 to provide 644 shipboard Sailors with housing and parking. The 161,000 square foot seven story structure was built in accordance to U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Environmental Efficient Design (LEED) standards and achieved LEED Platinum certification. The Platinum standard was achieved by a 30 percent reduction of the established minimum levels of energy efficiency for building systems including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, lighting, appliances and electronics. It includes a solar thermal domestic water system and photovoltaic system installed on the parking garage capable of powering the entire structure and back feeding adjacent buildings. Storm water detention basins/bio-swales were also installed to remove silt and pollution from surface storm water runoff by capturing and filtering 90 percent of all runoff.
Naval Base San Diego is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, consisting of 49 Navy ships, one Coast Guard cutter, seven Military Sealift Command logistical support platforms and several research and auxiliary vessels. The base is home to more than 225 individual commands, each having specific and specialized fleet support purposes, and is comprised of over 1,600 land acres and 326 acres of water. It is a consortium comprised of Naval Base San Diego proper, Commander, Navy Region Southwest downtown Broadway Complex, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest headquarters, the Balboa Complex, and Mission Gorge (Admiral Baker) Recreation Area.
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