COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 31, 2016 —
For many of the employees who arrived at the newly opened Operations Center at Defense Supply Center Columbus in 1996, it was their first time working in a high-rise building.
Thousands of associates have passed through its doors in the two decades since that summer morning when it officially opened, and a group of current and former workers came together Oct. 21 to celebrate its history at a ceremony inside the Ops Center’s auditorium.
Home to the Defense Logistics Agency’s Land and Maritime command and a variety of installation tenants, the seven-story granite building known commonly as Building 20 has seen many upgrades over the years.
Designed to accommodate the growing demands of digital communication, the building contains more than 450 miles of telephone and data processing cables, allowing associates to provide innovative logistics support to warfighters worldwide.
During the ceremony, members of the audience who were present when the building first opened were invited on stage to be recognized and to take a group photo. DLA Land and Maritime’s acting commander, James McClaugherty referred to these employees during his remarks as “plank owners”, harkening back to the popular naval term for members of a crew who were present when the vessel was first commissioned.
McClaugherty presented each plank owner with a special memento to represent their longstanding loyalty and history with the building.
The ceremony also included a retrospective video showcasing the history of Building 20 and its people, with archival photos documenting the subtle changes in fashion and the not-so-subtle advancements in computer technology.
“This facility represents more than just granite and steel,” McClaugherty said. “This building is symbol of the excellence of this workforce, and the important mission that you all do each day.”
McClaugherty himself is a member of the Building 20 plank owners. He was director of Readiness and Business Operations at DSCC during the building’s construction and completion.
“As we look forward to the next 20 years we can all be sure that more improvements on this outstanding installation will continue to take place,” he said.
“Having witnessed the passage of time here as both a military officer and civilian I can tell you that we are blessed to have this building, and to have this collection of men and women who push themselves each day to do what we do.”