From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]



C’mon kids, let’s go to Army World!

August 8, 2006

FORT BELVOIR, Virginia (AP) — The Army is considering a proposal to
allow a private developer to build a military-themed park that would
include Cobra Gunship rides and bars including a “1st Division Lounge.”

Military officials said a massive entertainment and hotel complex built
next to a national Army museum could draw more than 1 million people a
year. But authorities in Fairfax County are objecting because of
already traffic-clogged roads surrounding the proposed site.

Universal City Property Management III, of Orlando, Florida, submitted
the unsolicited proposal for the theme park last year.

“You can command the latest M-1 tank, feel the rush of a paratrooper
freefall, fly a Cobra Gunship or defend your B-17 as a waist gunner,”
according to the proposal, which was obtained by The Washington Post.

County officials have no authority over the Army’s decision because the
site is federal property. County Supervisor T. Dana Kauffman said he
thought the entertainment concept died last year and said he had no
interest in turning a military museum into “Disney on Rolling Road.”

But the Army notified the county last week it is planning to move the
military museum from Fort Belvoir to a site a few miles away that would
be large enough for the entertainment complex.


“Whether your stay here is for several weeks, months or years, you’ll
come to know Fort Belvoir as more than a beautiful place to call home.
You’ll also find that “Excellence Through Service” is not just Fort
Belvoir’s unofficial slogan; it’s a way of life. What you’ll see at
Fort Belvoir is the tireless work of 19,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen,
Marines and Department of Defense civilians. Everyone at Fort Belvoir
is committed to the work of America’s defense and to keeping Fort
Belvoir the premier administrative support center in the National
Capital Region.

Historic Fort Belvoir is a beautiful installation, with a unique and
complex. At first glance we may appear to be the same military post you
have always known, but when you look closer, you will find new and
improved roads and buildings, an increase in the number of
organizations that call Fort Belvoir “home,” more civilian employees,
and far fewer soldiers-in-training than at any other time in our proud

You will also find an increase in programs and services within our own
community, and a strong commitment to fellowship and partnership with
and within our surrounding communities.

Our military mission is global. As a strategic sustaining base for
America’s Army the work we do is vital to the success of the goals and
objectives of the nation’s defense strategy.

A list of the nearly 100 tenant organizations who call Fort Belvoir
home reads like a “Who’s Who” of the Department of Defense. No other
Army installation in the world can compare to Fort Belvoir and its
singular mission to provide both logistical and administrative support
to such a diverse mix of tenant and satellite organizations.

Fort Belvoir is home to one Army major command headquarters and
elements of 10 others; 19 different agencies and direct reporting units
of the Department of Army; eight elements of the U.S. Army Reserve and
the Army National Guard; and 26 DoD agencies. Also located here are a
Marine Corps detachment, a U.S. Air Force activity, and an agency from
the Department of the Treasury.

Fort Belvoir employees and residents dedicate countless hours of
volunteer service to community causes. Whether it’s helping soldiers
and families, youths, the homeless or the environment, Fort Belvoir’s
community is totally committed to being a good neighbor.

Following that same service commitment are the garrison commander’s
communication tools. The post newspaper, the Belvoir Eagle, publishes
news and information for and about Fort Belvoir people. From
informative and interesting articles and commentaries to dramatic
photographs and illustrations, the Belvoir Eagle tells the Fort
Belvoir, Army and Department of Defense story. To keep on top of what’s
happening on post, tune to Cable Channel 3, the post’s cable-access
television channel. News, information and event announcements are
mainstays of Channel 3’s bulletin board. The channel also broadcasts a
wide range of entertainment, educational and local programming. Fort
Belvoir information is also available online at the post’s Web site,, and via the post’s hotline number, (703)

Fort Belvoir has changed in many ways over the past several years, but
some things will always remain the same. As dedicated stewards of the
environment, we will continue to work always to conserve the natural
beauty of the land around us, and to preserve our standing as one of
America’s enduring installations. Belvoir will always mean “Beautiful
To See.”

Situated on the Potomac River, just down the road from the nation’s
capital, Fort Belvoir is unlike any other Army installation in the
world with its diverse, modern-day mission of being a strategic
sustaining base for America’s Armed Forces. Welcome. We’re glad you’re
here! ”


EPG: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Supervisors, residents divided on proposed changes to Engineer Proving
By Amber Healy
August 2, 2006

After months of waiting, hoping and guessing at what the Army’s
recommendations would hold for Fort Belvoir, last week’s announcement
that the majority of the 20,000 military and civilian employees moving
to the base would be located at the Engineer Proving Ground in proved a

Located closer to Springfield than Fort Belvoir, the Engineer Proving
Ground may become home to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency,
offices aligned with the Washington Headquarters Service and the
National Museum of the United States Army, which had long been a
central point of future planning at Fort Belvoir.

“Some of our board members are disappointed,” said Supervisor Elaine
McConnell (R-Springfield).
She considered the additional residents moving to the greater
Springfield area a boost to planned redevelopment in Central
Springfield, including a planned Town Center and the KSI plan for
Mid-Town Springfield, along with the renovations to the Springfield

“It’ll be helpful for our redevelopment, people will want to go
somewhere to eat and shop,” McConnell said.

Perhaps the most controversial part of the Army’s proposal is putting
the Army Museum at the EPG instead of Fort Belvoir, around which
developers had proposed building hotels to house guests.

“I think it’s a great thing, it’ll allow for more access to the
museum,” McConnell said. “It’ll be on a public place instead of on a
secured base.”

The other two Supervisors in that area, Gerry Hyland (D-Mount Vernon)
and Dana Kauffman (D-Lee) don’t share McConnell’s outlook, but she
doesn’t mind being “the odd man out.”

CHANGES TO THE EPG should not come as a surprise to anyone, McConnell

“We all knew this was coming here, we’ve known for 10 years,” she said.
“It’s just in a different form. I’m optimistic that if it works right,
it’ll be good for us.”

Del. Mark Sickles (D-43) said the proposal is a bit of a double-edged
sword for Springfield.

“It would be great if the Army could find a way to put the museum on
the main base and put the Army Hospital closer to Springfield,” he
said, adding that more residents would benefit from easier access to
medical attention.

The bigger problem, however, is transportation.

“We cannot stand any more traffic on Route 1 or Telegraph Road. Without
the proper infrastructure, this will be a disaster,” he said.

Sickles said he hopes the county officials don’t jump to a
doom-and-gloom mentality about the changes to the EPG, but instead
focus on making the best of a difficult situation.

“This is the biggest single event to happen in Southern Fairfax
County,” he said. “Right now, we’re overwhelmed by the fear of pure
gridlock on the roads. But this will be a shot in the arm for
Springfield and could bring with it a lot of amenities. I hope some of
the people moving to the EPG will really consider moving into the area
for good.”

Skeeter Scheid, president of the Central Springfield Area
Revitalization Council, said the relocated employees will help fill the
office space and retail outlets planned in the downtown area.
“We’ll have to look at how we proportion things,” said Scheid. “Some of
this stuff they’re bringing to the EPG is top secret, but the museum
will be open to the public.”

She shares Sickle’s concern about traffic. “A large portion of the
questions we ought to be asking are where are these people coming from
and what does that mean for us,” she said.

Overall, the transfer of offices and staff to the EPG seems to be an
“unbalanced” proposal, she said.

“There doesn’t seem to be a lot of concern from the Army about what the
community wants,” she said.

THOSE SENTIMENTS were echoed by Hyland, who served as a member of the
advisory board that gave suggestions to the Army as to how the BRAC
changes could best be arranged.
“We are very disappointed with this decision, it was not what Fairfax
County recommended,” he said. “To put 18,000 people on the EPG puts the
bulk of the move in one location, which presents major challenges as
far as a new transportation infrastructure and how to support it.”

His greatest complaint was the location of the Army Museum.

“Pence Gate [at Fort Belvoir] was the site the Army first selected when
they came to us and asked us to lobby for a museum here,” Hyland said.

Listing a long line of local civic groups, including the Southeast
Fairfax Development Corporation, the Army Historic Foundation and the
Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations, all of which approved of
the museum’s location at Fort Belvoir, Hyland said it “doesn’t make
sense” to move it to Belvoir.

The museum itself is not expected to be designed in the same way as the
museums on the National Mall, but more like “a theme-park and
convention center with a museum wrapper” due to “financing shortfalls,”
Kauffman said.

Kauffman, who shares magisterial concern over the EPG with McConnell,
said the move of 18,000 people to the site is like trying to put a
project “twice the size of Falls Church on half the land mass with
virtually no transportation improvements.”

The jobs created and moved to Springfield with the addition of the
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency brings “the caliber of work
force that could, over time, really give back to the community,” which
brings “an incredible array of positives” for the Central Springfield
area, Kauffman said.
“I believe that, with some focused energies and more rolling up their
sleeves on the part of the Army, we could make the presence of these
intelligence agencies a welcome addition,” he said.
But the traffic and transportation problems, including the Army’s own
list of 14 projects they have deemed essential remain unfunded, save
for three projects, two of which are being paid for by Virginia,
Kauffman said.

“We’re hearing this is all happening whether we get the funding or
not,” he said. “By throwing all of these projects together, you can’t
solve for ‘X’ without a massive infusion of dollars from Capitol Hill.
The only way these roads can be built is through spreading out the


U.S. Government Web Sites for Kids & Students

Business & Money

* B.E.P. Kids Page (Bureau of Engraving & Printing)
* Education Resources (U.S. International Trade Commission)
* H.I.P. Pocket Change (U.S. Mint)
* Investor Education & Assistance (Securities Exchange Commission)
* IRS: Understanding Taxes (IRS)
* OPIC for Kids (Overseas Private Investment Corporation)
* Savings Bonds for Kids (Bureau of the Public Debt)
* STAWRS Kids (A joint effort among the Labor Depart., Treasury
Depart., Internal Revenue Service, Small Business Administration and
Social Security Administration)
* Treasury Educational Links (Treasury Dept.)
* Treasury’s Page for Kids (Treasury Dept.)
* U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Kids Pages (Commerce Dept.)
* Youthlink: Social Security for the Young (Social Security


* Air Force Careers (U.S. Air Force)
* Army and Army Reserve Recruiting (U.S. Army)
* Career Exploration (Employment & Training Administration)
* Department of Labor Educational Resources (Labor Dept.)
* Military Career Guide Online (U.S. Defense Dept. Center Monterey
* (U.S. Navy)
* Opportunities for You in the Corps (U.S. Marine Corps)
* Selective Service System Registration Information (Selective
Service System)
* (Office of Personnel Management and Dept of
Education/Student Financial Assistance
* Occupational Outlook Handbook (Labor Statistics Bureau)
* Think College Early (Education Dept.)

Communities & People

* FactFinder Kids’ Corner! (Census Bureau)
* Girl Power! (Health & Human Services Dept.)
* HUD for Students (Housing & Urban Development Department)
* Indian Health Service Native American KIDS home page (Indian
Health Service)
* Kids Next Door (Housing & Urban Development Dept.)
* Planet Youth (Office of Native American Programs)
* World Wise Schools: Students (Peace Corps)

Computers & Internet

* Consumer Information Security for Kids (Federal Trade Commission)
* Parents Guide to the Internet (Education Dept.)

Crime & Justice

* FBI Kids & Youth Educational Page (Federal Bureau of
* (National Drug Control Policy Office)
* History of Federal Judgeships (Administrative Office of the
* Inside the Courtroom (Executive Office for the U.S. Attorneys)
* Justice for Kids and Youth (Justice Dept.)
* Understanding the Federal Courts (Administrative Office of the

Defense & National Security

* Air Force Careers (U.S. Air Force)
* Army and Army Reserve Recruiting (U.S. Army)
* CIA Homepage for Kids (Central Intelligence Agency)
* Just for Kids (Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh)
* (U.S. Navy)
* NGA Children’s Site (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)
* NSA/CSS Kids & Youth Homepage (National Security Agency)
* Opportunities for You in the Corps (U.S. Marine Corps)
* Selective Service System Registration Information (Selective
Service System)
* Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (National Imagery & Mapping
* VA Kids (Veterans Affairs Dept.)