Kentucky Guard cuts ribbon on two new facilities

Kentucky National Guard Staff Report

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Gov. Steve Beshear, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky Guardsmen and other guests cut the ribbon to officially open the Kentucky National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility in Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 14, 2015. The 126,000 square foot building replaces an aging facility built in 1971. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — To begin the new fiscal year, the Kentucky National Guard opened two new facilities Oct. 14,  in its continued effort to support the Commonwealth and the nation.

To see all photos from this event, please click HERE.

Gov. Steve Beshear joined Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky in cutting the ribbon on a new Army Aviation Support Facility in Frankfort, Ky. The new $26 million facility has nearly 126,000 square feet of combined space to house UH-60 Blackhawk and LUH-72 Lakota helicopters.

The new hangars and office space provide the latest in cost-savings technology and energy efficiency. It will replace the aging AASF built in 1971.

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Gov. Steve Beshear, Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Brig. Gen. Benjamin F. Adams III, Col. Brian Abney and Tom Nicolett ceremoniously accept new UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters in Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 14, 2015. The signified the Kentucky Guard’s receipt of the newest model of the Army’s primary helicopter. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

“The courageous men and women who constitute the Kentucky National Guard embody the words ‘service’ and ‘sacrifice,’” said Governor Steve Beshear. “It has been with the utmost confidence that I have called upon them in Kentucky’s time of need during an impressive number of federally declared disasters. This new Army Aviation Support Facility we’re dedicating today will only increase the effectiveness of the Kentucky National Guard as its members perform an already wide array of capabilities. With the best equipment and the best people, there’s not much we in Kentucky won’t be able to handle.”

Tonini then cut the ribbon on the Bowman Readiness Center in Louisville later that afternoon.

The Butler Reserve Center was acquired by the Kentucky National Guard in the fall of 2013 as a result of the 2005 Defense Base and Realignment and Closure law. Kentucky invested $4 million to renovate the facility. This center will support operations of the Commonwealth’s National Guard units.

“Events like these show the relevance of what we do for our to serve our metro, our Commonwealth and our nation,” said Tonini of the Bowman Center. “Make no mistake about it, this is a Kentucky National Guard facility. Not only will we honor the military legacy of the Soldiers walking through this building, we will enhance it and continue the tradition with Kentucky Guardsmen.”

With the newest construction projects ongoing at the same time, Col. Steve King, director of facilities for the Kentucky Guard, said it was a demanding undertaking, but a beneficial move in the right direction for the Guard.

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Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Brig Gen. Charles Jones, Guardsmen and other guests cut the ribbon to open the Bowman Readiness Center in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 14, 2015. The new facility now houses Kentucky’s 75th Troop Command among other units. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

“The Kentucky National Guard and Department of Military Affairs routinely manage between 30 to 40 projects at any given time,” said King. “These projects range from minor renovations and maintenance of readiness centers or armories,  to major military construction. When managing large scale projects simultaneously, it’s important to note the teamwork involved between all agency personnel. Most of these projects have federal funding, but all have to be worked through the Finance Cabinet for design and execution. This relationship is key to the successful execution of all these projects.”

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