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Col. David Buckingham, commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Vicenza, makes a point during a tour of the Dal Molin aifield for Italian civic leaders on Thursday. Behind him to the right is one of the barracks buildings under construction that about 1,200 soldiers will call home when the $289 million project is completed. That's projected to happen in phases in 2013 and 2014.
Col. David Buckingham, commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Vicenza, makes a point during a tour of the Dal Molin aifield for Italian civic leaders on Thursday. Behind him to the right is one of the barracks buildings under construction that about 1,200 soldiers will call home when the $289 million project is completed. That's projected to happen in phases in 2013 and 2014. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Col. David Buckingham, commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Vicenza, makes a point during a tour of the Dal Molin aifield for Italian civic leaders on Thursday. Behind him to the right is one of the barracks buildings under construction that about 1,200 soldiers will call home when the $289 million project is completed. That's projected to happen in phases in 2013 and 2014.
Col. David Buckingham, commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Vicenza, makes a point during a tour of the Dal Molin aifield for Italian civic leaders on Thursday. Behind him to the right is one of the barracks buildings under construction that about 1,200 soldiers will call home when the $289 million project is completed. That's projected to happen in phases in 2013 and 2014. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
This building under construction at the Dal Molin airfield in Vicenza, Italy, will serve as the headquarters of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat team and four of its six battalions. About 2,000 soldiers and their families are expected to make the move from Bamberg and Schweinfurt in Germany in the summer of 2013.
This building under construction at the Dal Molin airfield in Vicenza, Italy, will serve as the headquarters of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat team and four of its six battalions. About 2,000 soldiers and their families are expected to make the move from Bamberg and Schweinfurt in Germany in the summer of 2013. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
The U.S. use of the Dal Molin arifield on the outskirts of Vicenza, Italy, has been controversial from the start. Some residents -- and others from other parts of Italy -- continue to protest the move, which will allow for the consolidation of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in one location. The U.S. will only use about half the land at Dal Molin, with the other area, shown here on the outside of the perimeter, turned into a city park.
The U.S. use of the Dal Molin arifield on the outskirts of Vicenza, Italy, has been controversial from the start. Some residents -- and others from other parts of Italy -- continue to protest the move, which will allow for the consolidation of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in one location. The U.S. will only use about half the land at Dal Molin, with the other area, shown here on the outside of the perimeter, turned into a city park. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)
Construction is under way at the Dal Molin aifield in Vicenza, Italy, on 31 buildings that will eventually feature headquarters, offices, support facilities, housing and recreational areas for the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat team and U.S. Army Africa.
Construction is under way at the Dal Molin aifield in Vicenza, Italy, on 31 buildings that will eventually feature headquarters, offices, support facilities, housing and recreational areas for the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat team and U.S. Army Africa. (Kent Harris/Stars and Stripes)

VICENZA, Italy — The latest projection for the consolidation of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, currently split between Germany and Italy, into a single community is June 2013.

Col. David Buckingham, commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Vicenza, told a group of Italian civic leaders Thursday he expects about 2,000 soldiers and their families to move from Bamberg and Schweinfurt, Germany, during the summer of 2013. Phase two of a massive construction project at the Dal Molin air field designed to provide offices and support facilities for the brigade and housing for about 1,200 single soldiers is to be completed by then.

“We’re very happy today to sort of peel back the veil on Dal Molin and have you see this project,” Buckingham told those gathered for a slide show and brief tour of the base. Mayors or designates from all 123 villages, towns and cities from the province of Vicenza were invited; about half attended.

None of the projects is completed, but dozens of facilities are under construction. About $187 million – roughly two-thirds of the projected construction costs – has been spent on 31 buildings and preparations so far, according to information provided to the mayors.

Construction, which began in March 2008, is expected to be completed by December 2012. That’s a few months later than the last public projection of the fall of 2012.

Poor weather conditions, clearing unexploded ordnance — 49 from Italian and British militaries some dating to World War II — and archaeological work contributed to construction delays, officials said.

The first U.S. personnel – some assigned to U.S. Army Africa – are expected to move into Dal Molin in January 2012, followed in June by four battalions and the headquarters element of the 173rd. The brigade’s two infantry battalions will remain at Caserma Ederle, a 15-minute drive away. The remainder of the U.S. Army Africa staff is scheduled to make the move across town in June 2014.

Once the base is fully occupied, Vicenza will be home to the largest U.S. military presence in Italy in terms of population, with about 5,000 troops spread between Dal Molin and Caserma Ederle.

harrisk@estripes.osd.mil

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