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Richmond Times-Dispatch: Army plans museum at Fort Lee
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:59 pm
Post subject: Richmond Times-Dispatch: Army plans museum at Fort Lee

Army plans museum at Fort Lee
A $31 million Ordnance Museum to join women's, quartermaster collections

Saturday, Oct 25, 2008 - 12:09 AM Updated: 03:01 AM


Fort Lee is getting a new, $31 million Army museum.

The Army's Ordnance Museum will open in 2011, giving Fort Lee one of the service's largest museum complexes.

The Prince George County post already is home to the Quartermaster Museum and the Army Women's Museum.

About 49,000 people visited the Ordnance Museum, now at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in the past year, a number that easily could double at Fort Lee with its easy access to Interstates 95 and 295, the museum's director said.

The museum will bring to Fort Lee about 175 tanks and cannons from the Army's "field of steel" collection of heavy military weaponry.

"It's the largest move of an Army

museum in the history of the Army Museum System," said Joe Rainer, the Ordnance Museum's director.

"Some of the pieces we're going to display are so large," Rainer said, "we're going to have to move them down after we've poured the concrete floor and then build the walls around them."

Rainer singled out the M-65 "Atomic Cannon" as one such gargantuan museum piece. The field gun is 84 long, more than 16 feet wide and 12 feet tall -- and it weighs 83.3 tons.

"It's going to be great to have three wonderful, really outstanding, museums in one location," said Pat Sigle, a retired Army officer and supporter of the Army Women's Museum. "The local communities will see a real plus."

That's what area officials are hoping.

"We get a lot of out-of-town military retirees," said Becky McDonough, executive vice president of the Hopewell-Prince George Chamber of Commerce. "This will be one more reason for them to have us be a stayover destination . . . which is very good for our tourism business."

The Army's Ordnance Center and School is coming to Fort Lee from Aberdeen as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission's reordering of U.S. military installations.

The ordnance branch is responsible for developing and maintaining the Army's weapons systems.

The Army expects to award the contract for the Ordnance Museum's construction in fall 2009, begin work in late winter 2010, and have the museum ready by May 2011, Rainer said.

A 95,000-square foot, high-bay building will allow the museum to display its armored vehicles and artillery pieces indoors for the first time in a half century, Rainer said.

The new museum, which will be behind the existing Quartermaster Museum, also will provide 20,000 square feet of office and artifacts-storage space.

However, the Ordnance Museum will need to raise about $500,000 from private donations to help create exhibits within the otherwise bare-bones building.

About 66,000 people visited Lee's Quartermaster and Army Women's museums last year, according to the installation.

By comparison, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond had attendance of 108,400 last year.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:10 pm
Post subject: Re: Richmond Times-Dispatch: Army plans museum at Fort Lee

The museum will bring to Fort Lee about 175 tanks and cannons from the Army's "field of steel" collection of heavy military weaponry.

That's all Shocked ??? There's at least 150 AFV's. I imagine with all artillery the number is closer to 250.

So what happens to the stuff that isn't moved?

Hopefully not another scrap drive Neutral .

Joe D
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:07 pm
Post subject: Re: Richmond Times-Dispatch: Army plans museum at Fort Lee


Plans in place to relocate Ordnance Museum to Fort Lee
The Progress-Index
Published: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 12:22 PM EST

FORT LEE — The U.S. Army Ordnance Museum will be part of the third largest museum complex on the East Coast when it’s placed at Fort Lee in September 2011.

Fort Lee is already home to two museums; the United States Army Quartermaster Museum and the United States Army Women’s Museum.

But plans are already in the works to bring the impressive 12,500-piece collection of the Ordnance Museum to Fort Lee.

"It’s going to be a huge logistical move," said Dr. Joe Rainer, director of the Ordnance Museum, currently located in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. "We have over 170 tanks and artillery pieces."

He said several of those will present special challenges , including the famous World War II K5 German artillery piece commonly known as "Anzio Annie" and a 16 seacoast defense gun.

"The 16 seacoast defense gun weighs 400,000 lbs. alone," Rainer said.

He said some pieces, such as the seacoast defense gun, would be disassembled, put on railcars, and then rebuilt in place on Fort Lee. A majority of pieces will be brought to Fort Lee by rail.

"I can only see a few being trucked on trailers," he said. "Fortunately the site we’ll be building on is close to a rail spur." Rainer added that the museum’s site in Maryland is also across the street from a rail spur which will allow for easy loading of some pieces from the museum.

But none of the pieces will be moved until the concrete for the museum floor has been poured. Rainer said that with the exception of the seacoast defense gun, most of the museum’s larger pieces will be moving from an outdoor display area to an indoor display space of around 95,000 square feet.

"We’ll also have small arms on display," Rainer said. "This will really allow us to preserve for at least a few more generations some of these tanks, which it’s tragic to say, haven’t been maintained."

Rainer said that for some of the older tanks with much thinner armor, preservation at times has come down to replacing armor panels instead of protecting what’s there.

"They’ve literally rusted away in some cases," Rainer said. "For us, it’s exciting because we’re going to get to start the museum from the ground up."

Rainer isn’t the only one getting excited. Ron Bingham, museum technician at the U.S. Army Women’s Museum said he’s excited as well.

"It’s a win-win situation for the post and the entire area," Bingham said.

One of his hobbies is military modeling and table-top war games. As part of that hobby, he’s often made trips to Aberdeen Proving Ground to see their ordnance collection.

"People from all over the world go to see their collection. Now they’ll be coming here to see it," Bingham said.

He added that once it comes to join the other two museums on post, it will be the third largest museum complex on the East Coast.

"It’s going to be really impressive," Bingham said.
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