Navy preps command center

The U.S. Pacific Command later this year will open the doors to its new Nimitz-MacArthur Pacific Command Center, housed in one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the Navy.

The $85 million project, called Headquarters 21, at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, is scheduled for completion in the summer and will offer the Pacific Command a new home for its command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities.

According to the Pacific Command, the Navy Department will invest about $50 million to shift core C4ISR and lay the foundation on which to build and integrate new services. A backbone of copper and fiber-optic cable will provide voice, video and data services at all classification levels.

"In the new Nimitz-MacArthur Pacific Command Center, my staff and I will have the cutting-edge information technology to lead the Pacific Command in an even surer, safer and more effective way," said Navy Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander of the Pacific Command. "Replacing a 50-year-old inadequate structure, the new building will also provide a great working environment for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are the heart and soul of the staff."

The new headquarters will build on the Pacific Command's philosophy of "infostructure" and enable the command to better handle the challenges facing modern battlefield commanders, Joint Task Forces, and multinational forces.

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, the Defense Information Systems Agency, and the Navy Marine Corps Intranet form the C4ISR triad that will help the command create a headquarters that is capable of adapting to change, according to a statement Fargo's office issued.

At the facility's groundbreaking in 2001, then-commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Dennis Blair, said the previous headquarters, originally a World War II-era hospital, was impossible to upgrade, given the need for considerably more technology infrastructure.

"We're putting in our command, control and communications infrastructure first, then building around that backbone," Blair said. "It will be more efficient by several orders of magnitude, which will ultimately save taxpayer dollars and increase our combat readiness."

"Adm. Nimitz and Gen. MacArthur's responsibilities sometimes made them rivals. But their actions together brought victory. They were both joint commanders, welding together the capabilities of all the services," Blair continued. "They are ... our choice in naming our new headquarters the Nimitz-MacArthur Pacific Command Center, for they represent jointness and victory."

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