The Iowa National Guard is rededicating readiness centers in Dubuque and Council Bluffs that have undergone renovation. Guard spokesman, Colonel Greg Hapgood, says it’s part of an ongoing maintenance program. “Renovations usually have to do with new heating, air conditioning, ventilation, paint, electrical wiring, they’ll generally create better spaces for soldiers to train and learn in. And so this will certainly improve the utility for both of these armories in Iowa,”Hapgood says.
There armories are becoming more modern facilities. “The term armory for the most part is interchangeable with readiness centers, but we are really moving toward the term readiness centers, because that’s a lot more accurate depiction of what these facilities are used for,” Hapgood says.
The Dubuque Readiness Center was rededicated this afternoon. The center was originally built in 1985 and expanded in 2006. The latest renovation included $2.3 million in upgrades such as new classrooms, a high-efficiency geo-thermal water heating system, a new kitchen, pantry, fitness room and loading dock.
Approximately 200 soldiers are assigned to the center as part of Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry; Company D, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry; and Detachment 1, Company E, 334th Brigade Support Battalion (Forward Support Company).
The Council Bluffs Readiness Center and Field Maintenance Shop rededication is set for tomorrow (Friday) at 11 a.m. The $4.5 million project began in October 2012 and features a complete renovation of both original facilities, which were built in 1993. The existing Readiness Center facility included the addition of some space along with new ceilings, wall and floor coverings, energy-efficient heating and conditioning systems and windows.
The Field Maintenance Shop received an additional 4,000 square feet of space, including work bays, radiant heat and air equipment, new storm sewer, fencing, windows, and a new heating and cooling systems. Colonel Hapgood says the completion of these facilities keeps them on track with maintenance plans. “Generally our philosophy with the Iowa National Guard is that we want every facility to be renovated within the last 20 years, or be newly built within the last 20 years, and we are absolutely on schedule for that,” Hapgood says.
The centers not only serve as training facilities for the Iowa National Guard, but Hapgood says they can be rented out for use by the community. He says they provided a good link between the citizen soldiers and the communities they serve. “The communities really are the hub in the Iowa National Guard. Those communities absolutely support our soldiers, airmen and families, and it’s an invaluable relationship for us,” according to Hapgood.
The Council Bluffs Readiness Center is home to approximately 250 solders with Detachment 1, Company F, 334th Brigade Support Battalion; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry; Detachment 1, Company B, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry; and Company D, Iowa Army National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program.