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World Class Technology, Amenities Coming to Defense Media Activity

By David Mays
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2007 – Employees assigned to the brand new Defense Media Activity at Fort Meade, Md., can look forward to cutting-edge technology and cool creature comforts, the activity’s transition team director said.

“The kind of space we’re trying to create is very state of the art, high tech and the type of space that is best suited to creative thinking,” said Carla Coulson.

Coulson and her Defense Media Activity Transition Team have been working to smoothly usher more than 650 military, DoD civilian and contract employees into a 185,000-square-foot facility to be built on the grounds of Fort Meade, situated midway between Baltimore and Washington and set to open during the summer of 2011. The DMA will merge journalists from all military services and those who now work for American Forces Information Service.

“AFIS is being disestablished. This is not an ‘AFIS plus.’ This is a brand new organization,” Coulson explained.

Designers will present their final plans to the transition team over the next 11 months, she said. Once a design is selected, a construction contract will be awarded, and construction can begin.

“This is going to be great,” Coulson said. “We’re going to go wireless. There’s going to be areas of the building where one can just go sit down with a laptop and just think and write and produce.”

On the outside, the building will be “Georgian Revival,” which duplicates architecture common in English speaking countries between 1720 and 1840 and is required for all new construction on Fort Meade. But inside, the facility will be fully modern.

“This is going to be fitted for broadcast production, print and joint Web,” Coulson said, noting that information at the new facility will be digitally filed and instantly shareable.

Open spaces and courtyards also will be prominent features of the new facility, she said. “It going to be built on a golf course and facing green space.”

Employees can look forward to other amenities like a workout space, showers, even a high-tech climate-control system built on a raised floor that adjusts the building’s temperature from below, rather than pouring cold or hot air from ceiling vents, Coulson explained. “It’s supposed to be extremely comfortable. It’s really state of the art.”

The state of Maryland is reaching out to help DMA employees make the transition to Fort Meade, Coulson said, including assistance with spousal employment and increased public transportation

“We’re all working together to make sure that this is successful,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting.”


(David Mays works for the New Media branch of American Forces Press Service.)

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