COLUMBUS - The new Columbus Armed Forces Reserve Center was dedicated Friday.
The $9.5 million facility will house the 1075th Transportation Company of the Nebraska National Guard and the 45th Military Police Detachment of the U.S. Army Reserve.
"This Armed Forces Reserve Center is the next step in realizing the Nebraska National Guard's goal to build efficient, sustainable, world-class facilities for Nebraska soldiers and citizens," said Col. Timothy Zegers, construction and facilities management officer for the state of Nebraska.
The building will be shared by more than 130 National Guard and Army reserve soldiers as they receive their training.
"This facility is designed to help us better prepare our Army (and) National Guard soldiers for the challenges they will face when they are deployed overseas or when they are responding to emergencies here at home," said Maj. General Judd H. Lyons.
From planning to construction, the facility took about two years to complete. Ground for the building was bought and donated by the City of Columbus. The construction was paid through military funding. It replaces the old Armory building which was built in the 1950s.
The 43,349 square foot facility, located at 2018 Armory Drive, is a state-of-the-art design with a geo-thermal heating system. The building is made up of classrooms, a weight room, Reserve and Guard recruiting offices, administrative office space, an assembly hall, weapons simulation room, shared supply and storage area, a kitchen and a work bay for equipment and training.
Lyons said much of the training that is done today is at home stations so soldiers do not have to spend as much time away from their families at other locations. A reserve center like this in Columbus serves as a focal point for Guard and Reserve families and the businesses that employ the soldiers.
Over the past decade, solders from the state have been part of America's response to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia, said Gov. Dave Heineman. Many of those soldiers have also met the call of duty when responding to state disasters like flooding, tornados and blizzards.
"That response, however, just doesn't happen by accident. It is the result of tough realistic training and continuous readiness for operations. They train over and over and over again. That is why these facilities are so important," Heineman said.