Sneak preview: The new Kentucky National Guard Readiness Center in Owensboro

Story by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs
Photos by Tech. Sgt. Jason Ketterer,  Kentucky National Guard J6 Visual Information

Owensboro Readiness Center Sneak Peek

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OWENSBORO, Ky. — With just days away from the ribbon cutting of the new Kentucky National Guard Readiness Center in Owensboro, officials gave a sneak preview of the facility to local media.

Owensboro Readiness Center Sneak Peek

Kentucky National Guardsman Maj. Jason Aliff, 206th Engineer Battalion, speaks with Jasmine Edwards, Channel 14 News, about the new Owensboro Readiness Center in Owensboro, Ky. on March 29. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Ketterer)

The $14 million facility, built on land adjacent to the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport, is the Kentucky Guard’s flagship readiness center in the region.  With more than 35,000 square feet of offices, classrooms, drill halls and storage, the center will function as a home for the 206th Engineer Battalion.

The winter storm of 2009 demonstrated the importance of a modern facility said Maj. Jason Aliff, operations officer for the 206th Engineers.

“During that mission the soldiers were actually living out of the armory because of power outages,” he said.  “This is a much larger facility, providing office space separate from potential living quarters that we could use here.   And by being located at the airport supplies can be flown in now and we can have a much quicker reaction time and be able to distribute goods.”

The center will also serve as a center for community activities, said Aliff.

“The space can be rented out for birthday parties and things that a community based organization could use this facility, just like we did at our older facility.  This new center is a representation of the community.

According to said Capt. Joe Sloan, the Guard’s design and project manager, three factors were taken into consideration when putting together the new center: security, operational support and energy efficiency.

Owensboro Readiness Center Sneak Peek

Capt. Joseph Sloan, design and project manager for the Kentucky National Guard, speaks with Jasmine Edwards, Channel 14 News, about the new Owensboro Readiness Center in Owensboro, Ky. on March 29. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Ketterer)

“Every decision we make in a building, be it the location of a door or what the construction materials are made of, come back to those three items,” he said.

Sloan explained that the green features of the facility aren’t just environmentally sound, but are fiscally responsible.

“It’s became part of regulation for efficiency in government spending and we feel like it’s the right thing to do environmentally to give back.  A lot of the decisions come down to finances, especially in this economy, so green initiatives help us preserve funds that go toward energy and focus that back towards training and our mission.”

Sloan says the greening of the facility will continue.  “We’re currently working through methods and approvals to get solar panels added to the building so that we actually have a zero effect as far as energy bills.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new readiness center is currently scheduled for 2:30 Central Daylight Time April 19.

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