Army Reserve digs into Puerto Rico
The Puerto Nuevo project will create more than 200 direct jobs, 95 percent of which were contracted locally.
The 30,000 square-foot center will serve as the home base for the 597th Logistics Support Unit, which currently operates out of Caguas. It will include training facilities, a maintenance workshop for vehicle and gear, storage and parking.
“We continue to take the necessary steps to ensure that our soldiers have the resources and facilities to serve the nation’s needs,” Gen. Fernando Fernández said during the cornerstone ceremony.
Fernández is the commander of the Fort Buchanan-based 1st Mission Support. The Pentagon last month extended his posting as the highest-ranking Army Reserve officer in the Caribbean.
The general said the $12 million Puerto Nuevo project is proof of the Army Reserve’s commitment to train, equip and lead its soldiers at the highest standards. It is environmentally friendly and meets LEED standards.
Other Army Reserve centers are under construction in Mayagüez ($18 million) and Guaynabo’s Fort Buchanan ($21 million).
New facilities were opened last year in Juana Díaz ($14 million) and Ceiba ($24 million).
U.S. Defense Department statistics show that the Army Reserve pumped $140 million into the Puerto Rican economy in 2011.
“There is no doubt that the Army Reserve has a bright future in Puerto Rico,” Fernández said.