It has been over a year since Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington broke ground on the new Marine Corps Wargaming and Analysis Center at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Quantico and the project is taking shape. As NAVFAC Washington and construction contractor Clark Construction Group, LLC, reach the 50% work in place milestone, it is time to take a peek at the new center of wargaming for the Marine Corps.
The Wargaming and Analysis Center will provide next-generation technologies to help Marines better visualize the threat environment and gain competitive advantages over adversaries. The Center will bring together the staff and visiting leaders in one location and double the number of war games the force can conduct annually.
“The Wargaming and Analysis Center will provide a critical capability to the Marine Corps,” said Capt. Benjamin Leppard, NAVFAC Washington Operations Officer. “Every day the threat environment posed by our near-peer competitors changes, and this project is on a fast-track to provide the facilities that will enhance Marine Corps warfighters’ ability to outpace those threats. This facility represents a game changer for the way we can approach future warfighting capabilities.”
To meet Marine Corps wargaming mission at MCB Quantico, the military construction project consists of three primary structures - the 100,000 square-foot Wargaming and Analysis Center, an adjacent parking facility spanning over 130,000 square feet, and the Area Distribution Node (ADN), a separate structure that will support communication services to the facility.
The Wargaming Center is designed as a low-rise, Georgian-style facility with exterior features that include cast stone, brick veneer and asphalt shingle roofs. The facility will include an auditorium, gaming classrooms, game cells, breakout rooms and conference rooms. The parking facility will be a multi-story, pre-cast concrete structure with auger cast pile foundations. The ADN facility is a precast concrete structure with auger cast pile foundation. The total current contract value for the entire construction project is $79 million.
Management for NAVFAC Washington is currently led on site by Robert Simmons, a civilian construction manager. Simmons previously served the Navy in uniform as a Seabee for 10 years. He was the Facilities Engineering Acquisition Division Director at Public Works Department Dahlgren from August 2017 to May 2019, and the Supervisory Engineer for construction managers and engineering techs until his retirement in June 2020. He served in the tradition of his parents. His mother is a veteran of the Navy Nurse Corps and his father served as an active duty Marine for 20 years.
“There’s a large team of stakeholders involved with this project, and a healthy amount of ongoing communication that supports the team’s collaborative efforts which have brought the project to this point in construction and will continue to carry it to a successful completion,” said Simmons.
At this point in construction for the Wargaming Center, structural steel has been erected and the application of fireproofing material to the steel is nearly complete. Aggregate piers, columns, and concrete building slabs have been placed and the metal and concrete deck for the second floor has been installed. Roof trusses have been erected and decking, insulation, and sheathing for the roof have been placed. Utility pathways and piping have been installed in order to provide electricity, water, sewer, natural gas, and telecommunications services to the entire site.
The concrete shell of the ADN building is complete, including all roof work. Most of the cast stone and brick façade is in place. The pre-cast concrete frame for the parking facility has been erected as well. Rough-ins for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing are underway for both the ADN and parking facility.
“The future wargaming and analysis operations at this facility will affect decisions made by the Marine Corps with regards to the force design effort as well as how Marines are trained and equipped,” said Simmons. “The project team is focused on working together to deliver a state-of-the-art facility that will support these critical functions for years to come.”
The center’s site is next door to the Marine Corps University and not far from a number of mid- and senior-level Marine office schools and training programs. Its proximity is designed to allow for cross-pollination of ideas from the schools for concept testing at the center.
The construction of the Marine Corps Wargaming and Analysis Center is on budget and on schedule, projected to be completed in the summer of 2023.