The Iowa National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve are dedicating three new “readiness centers.” The first ceremony was today at the new center in Middletown. Iowa Guard spokesman, Colonel Greg Hapgood, says they each replace aging guard and reserve facilities.
Hapgood says it combines the reserve and guard facilities into one for both to share, which he says will “save a tremendous amount of taxpayer dollars.” The three facilities were built with federal money at a combined cost of nearly $72-million. They came about through the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act, which sought to close aging military bases and upgrade the facilities that stayed open.
“In this particular case facilities in Muscatine, Middletown and Cedar Rapids all found that there were synergies between guard and reserve units that were in those communities and it just really made common sense to put those entities together,” Hapgood said. A fourth facility, the Freedom Center at the guard headquarters at Camp Dodge in Johnston opened in 2008.
Hapgood says each facility has state-of-the-art technology to train the soldiers. He says they can do video teleconferencing, they have maintenance shops to work on vehicles, and fitness facilities. Hapgood says the facilities are not just for soldiers, but can also be rented and used by people in the communities just as the local armories have been used for decades.
The facility in Middletown is home to the Iowa Guard’s 831st Engineer Company and the Army Reserve’s 389th Engineer Company. It was constructed at a cost of $25.2 million and provides training for 215-soldiers.
The open house in Muscatine is scheduled for 10 A.M. Wednesday. The facility replaces the Iowa Army National Guard armory and Army Reserve Center in Muscatine. It is home to the guard’s Detachment 2, Company A, 248th Aviation Support Battalion, as well as the reserve’s Detachment 1, 389th Engineer Company. The facility cost $8.5-million.
The Cedar Rapids dedication is set for 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The project replaces the Iowa Army National Guard armory and Field Maintenance Shop, and the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Center, all previously located in Cedar Rapids, with a single, joint facility. This new facility is home to the National Guard Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, Second Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division; Company C, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, Second Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division; Detachment One, Company A (Distribution), 334th Brigade Support Battalion; Company B (Maintenance), 334th Brigade Support Battalion; and Detachment One, 3655th Maintenance Company.
It will also be home to the reserve’s 649th Regional Support Group; Detachment one, 4224th U.S. Army Hospital; First Platoon, 960th Quartermaster Company; and Fourth Platoon, 960th Quartermaster Company. The new facility cost $38-million.