Photos by 1st Lt. Mark Slaughter, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Cutting the ribbon: Gov. Steve Beshear and Adjutant General Edward W. Tonini are joined by Brig. Gen. Pat Dolan, Col. Steve King, Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne, State Command Chief Warrant Officer James Sims, State Command Sgt. Maj. Greg Armstrong and State Command Master Chief Jim Smith. (Photo by 1st Lt. Mark Slaughter, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)
Click here for more photos.
OWENSBORO, Ky. – On May 30 Gov. Steve Beshear joined Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky’s Adjutant General, along with state legislators and local officials in dedicating the new Kentucky National Guard Readiness Center in Owensboro, Ky.
Built on land adjacent to the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport, the $14 million facility is the Kentucky Guard’s flagship readiness center in the region. It has more than 35,000 square feet of offices, classrooms, drill halls and storage and will function as home for the 206th Engineer Battalion.
“When it comes to keeping our people safe and secure, we have a top-notch organization in the Kentucky National Guard,” said Gov. Beshear. “Having a top-notch center of operations will strengthen their abilities even more.”
“This new center is truly a tribute to collaboration among federal, state and local agencies, as well as between the military and public sectors,” he added.
“The Kentucky National Guard has a long history here in Owensboro and Daviess County,” said Tonini. “We’ve been here since 1946 and we’ve enjoyed great partnership with the local communities.”
“Events such as last year’s flooding here in western Kentucky and the tornadoes in West Liberty underscore the importance of mission readiness at the state level,” added Tonini. “This new structure puts us ahead of the game in preparing for the future. We’re especially proud of this new facility for not only what it will do for the effectiveness of the Citizen Soldiers that will call it home, but what it represents to the citizens in the region.”
The new readiness center is designed to train soldiers in support of the missions of the Commonwealth and the nation. The facility offers a staging area to receive and/or deploy Soldiers and Airmen, and expands the maintenance capability and support of military equipment assigned to units in western Kentucky. The center will serve as the Regional Emergency Operations Center, and offers Homeland Security support in multiple arenas.
The facility also features an energy efficient design with shaded windows and efficient heating/cooling. The Kentucky Guard plans to install solar panels to reduce energy bills.