SouthCom sets sights on Homestead expansion
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
As the military's Southern Command wraps construction of its $273 million headquarters in Doral, plans are under way to build an estimated $43 million headquarters for its special operations unit at the Homestead Air Reserve Base, officials say.
SouthCom plans to seek funding for the project in the Department of Defense's construction budget for fiscal 2011, said Raymond Sarracino, chief of internal communications at SouthCom.
Brig. Gen. Hector Pagan, commander of special operations, shared plans to build the headquarters for the special operations unit with a support center at a Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce luncheon earlier this month.
The Southern Command is one of the Pentagon's 10 unified commands. It moved to Doral from Panama City, Panama, in the late 1990s, and today it is made up of more than 1,200 military and civilian personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Construction is under way on a 630,000-square-foot home for SouthCom — slated to open late 2010 — that extends along Northwest 33rd Street from 87th to 97th avenues.
If plans move forward to build the special operations facility in south Miami-Dade, Mr. Sarracino said SouthCom would work with the Army Corps of Engineers on the project's design, engineering and construction. The size of the building is yet to be determined.
Patrick Robbins, public affairs officer for the Corps of Engineers' Mobile, AL, District, said the Corps would oversee design and construction.
SouthCom is responsible for providing contingent planning, operation, and security cooperation for Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Mr. Sarracino said once the money is allocated for the command center the Pentagon "will have a better grip on the ground breaking [date]."