Kentucky’s First Lady attends groundbreaking for new National Guard Readiness Center

Staff report

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Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear joins Adjutant General Edward W. Tonini, state and local officials for a ground breaking ceremony for a new Kentucky Army National Guard Readiness Center in Burlington Ky., Sept. 26. In the photo from left to right: Lt. Col. Steven King, (Ret.) Col. Mike Jones, Col. Michael Ferguson, Col. Ben Adams, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Congressman Geoff Davis, First Lady Jane Beshear, Judge Executive Gary Moore, Ms. Pat Wise-Brown, Joe Wilkins, Bob Green and Architect Michael Jacobs. (photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Oliver, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office)

BURLINGTON, Ky. (September 26, 2011) — First Lady Jane Beshear joined Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, in breaking ground today for a new Kentucky Army National Guard Readiness Center in Burlington, Ky.

“This new readiness center will be more than just a building,” said Beshear.  “This facility will serve the men and women who serve the Commonwealth, a place where they will train and prepare for whatever the future may bring.”

First Lady Beshear 2

Kentucky's First Lady Jane Beshear speaks at a ground breaking ceremony for a new Kentucky Army National Guard Readiness Center in Burlington Ky., Sept. 26. (photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Oliver, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office)

The new $19.5 million federally funded facility will be located on 32 acres of land adjacent to the Boone County Sheriffs Dept and the Gateway Industrial Park.  Construction is expected to begin on the day of the groundbreaking ceremony and will take between 16-18 months to complete.

“It will also represent a source of comfort and security for the members of the local community, for they know — as we all do — that the Kentucky National Guard stands ready to serve us all, both here at home and in faraway places,” said Beshear.

The facility will be home to two Kentucky Army National Guard units — Headquarters Support Company and A Company, both with the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion.  Approximately 35 full-time and 390 part-time personnel will be employed at the new readiness center.

Tonini echoed the importance of the facility as well as the unit that will occupy it.

Boone County Judge Executive Gary W. Moore speaks at a ground breaking ceremony for a new Kentucky Army National Guard Readiness Center in Burlington Ky., Sept. 26. (photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Oliver, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office)

“Behind the brick and mortar of this new readiness center is the heart of the Kentucky National Guard – the men and women who put the interests of others ahead of their own,” he said.  “They are your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers and your relatives.  They are your hometown defense force, your hometown heroes.”

The 1204th mobilized August 27 for Operation New Dawn and is currently training at Fort Hood, Tx. before deploying to Iraq.

Boone County Judge Executive Gary W. Moore was also in attendance to celebrate the groundbreaking.

“We’re blessed in Boone County to have the assets and infrastructure to support this partnership with our Kentucky National Guard,” said Moore. “The key word is readiness… with these Soldiers ready to serve here at home or abroad.”

The facility will consist of 75,000 square feet of administrative offices, storage facilities, classrooms and an assembly hall.

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