Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Officials break ground on $60M Central Command Headquarters at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base

TAMPA — U.S. Central Command will orchestrate wars from a four-story, $60 million headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, where officials broke ground on the project Monday.

The 250,000-square-foot facility will house about 1,800 military employees who run the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as oversee counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, humanitarian relief and other operations in 20 countries.

"Central Command has long been in need of a new headquarters," Army Gen. David Petraeus said at the ceremony. "To all those who made this moment possible, thank you."

The existing Central Command, or CentCom, headquarters, which was built 25 years ago, will become a parking lot. The CentCom staff has struggled to fit inside the 187,000 square feet of office space, and some employees set up shop in other parts of the base.

The project will create about 350 construction-related jobs in the region. Plans call for the building to meet high environmental standards.

"A lot of those folks who have not had steady work will be put back to work," U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, said after the groundbreaking.

Upon completion in two years, the headquarters will complement the neighboring new Joint Intelligence Center. The staff began trickling into offices at the recently built center earlier this year, though Maj. John Redfield said it's far from capacity.

Petraeus was named commander of United States Central Command in October after more than a year and a half in charge of operations in Iraq.

The general touted the June 30 withdrawal from cities there during his address, saying it served as a testament to counterinsurgency efforts begun a year ago.

But Petraeus kept most of his remarks lighthearted. He cracked a few jokes about the recent spate of storms, which made soil at the construction site so soggy Monday's ceremony had to be relocated.

"Let's see, I have a rain version and a no-rain version," he said of his speech, evoking chuckles from the crowd. He even had a looks-like-rain address on hand, just in case the sky got cloudy.

Instead of the actual ground, Petraeus and other dignitaries stood under a tent and stuck golden shovels in a symbolic mound of dirt.

"I think it's time to break ground, or at least this man-made mound," he said. "Don't throw it on my wife, please."

Steven Overly can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3435.

Officials break ground on $60M Central Command Headquarters at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base 07/06/09 [Last modified: Monday, July 6, 2009 9:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Clearwater eyes hiring new downtown director within two months

    CLEARWATER — Now that the city director tasked with revitalizing downtown has resigned after his arrest on a battery charge during Oktoberfest, City Manager Bill Horne said the goal is to not leave the position vacant long.

    Clearwater Assistant City Manager  Micah Maxwell will oversee downtown until the city hires a replacement for Seth Taylor.
  2. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17


    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Little separates McElwain and Muschamp eras of futility at Florida


     Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain watches the second quarter of the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville.
  4. Tampa-based Checkers testing delivery, aims for record expansion


    TAMPA — Tampa-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurants continues to fly under the radar compared to dominant burger chains like McDonald's and Burger King.

    Checkers Franchisee Shaji Joseph, of Tampa, hoses down the front walkway of his store at 6401 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park. The business has a new look including signage and exterior tile. One drive through has been eliminated for an outdoor dining area, right. Joseph owns nine Checkers and is planning to open his tenth in Tampa.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times ]
  5. What you need to know for Friday, Oct. 20


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today

    At last year's Dia de los Muertos, Casa Tina owner Tina Marie Avila (crouching) shows her "Ofrenda," or Day of the Dead alter. What would have been the 25th annual Dia de los Muertos Fiesta on Saturday had to be canceled this year because of Hurricane Irma. The folk festival will be back next year.
 [JIM DAMASKE  |  Times (2016)]