how long it took to build the new SHAPE Headquarters in Casteau, Belgium, in 1966-1967?
In September 1966, NATO agreed that Belgium should host SHAPE at the former Belgian army camp in Casteau. Only six and one-half months remained before the French deadline for SHAPE to leave France would expire.
A massive seven-day-a-week building programme began, co-ordinated between the Belgian central and local authorities, the consortium of construction companies who were to actually build the headquarters, and SHAPE. Highest priority was given to building the command and control facilities.
SHAPE closed its facility at Rocquencourt near Paris on 30 March 1967, and the next day held a ceremony to mark the opening of the new headquarters at Casteau.
SACEUR Lemnitzer called the construction effort "a miracle of achievement” and praised the Belgian authorities and workmen for their efforts to ensure that SHAPE had a new headquarters in a remarkably short time.