RAPID CITY, S.D. — A band and ribbon cutting all commemorating the unveiling of a new South Dakota National Guard Army Aviation Readiness Center.
The 20-million-dollar project, comprised of both federal and state funding, gives the state’s National Guard pilots a new way to train.
“The new building provides spaces that support training, administrative, and logistical requirements for four army aviation units,” said Major Eric Tobin, with the SD Army National Guard.
The state’s top leaders made an appearance, including its commander in chief, Governor Kristi Noem, who was a representative in Congress and voted to fund the readiness center through an approbations bill.
Now, the building, as Noem says, is an example as to how she and the state will support those serving us.
“You are our leaders, you are our ambassadors for our country wherever you go and we stand behind you, with you, giving you the tools, the equipment, the buildings, the facilities that you need to be trained,” Noem said.
The over 58,000 square foot facility can accommodate over 150 soldiers.
Congressman Dusty Johnson saying that as America confronts its enemies, it’ll have the right tools to face the task.
“I know, you know, our American military costs a lot of money but we get unbelievable value,” Johnson said. “This is a very uncertain, a very dangerous world. We’re all gunna sleep a lot better at night knowing that we’ve got the right tools, the right soldiers, the right airmen ready to do the job.”
The building also — saving energy, evidence through its LEED Silver Certification.
“So we have geothermal systems, passive solar systems as well, sunlights, or skylights included in that and then also we have radiant floor heating in the maintenance fair, so it’s a very energy-efficient building to help reduce energy costs and maintain the facility overall,” said Branch Chief Justin Gartland.
The pilots of our National Guard now with a place to train.