Nebraska Guard ready to build armory at Air Force base
OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska National Guard is leasing space on a U.S. Air Force base south of Omaha for a new armory that could begin to take shape this year if federal funding comes through, officials said.
What will be called the Bellevue Readiness Center will include office space, a drill floor, a large kitchen, maintenance bays for guard vehicles and an elevated classroom, said Col. Shane Martin, the guard’s construction and facilities management officer.
Funding remains problematic. The Omaha World-Herald reports that project hasn’t made it into the final Department of Defense budget the past two fiscal years and could be pushed back again.
If the money is approved this year, Martin said construction likely would start soon after the federal fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. Construction is expected to take about two years.
The center will cover 130,000 square feet at a cost of $29 million. The 38-acre parcel is being leased for 50 years and is on the site of a former housing area at Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha and next to Bellevue.
The new readiness center is slated to become headquarters for five units, said Maj. Scott Ingalsbe, a guard spokesman. One of the units will be the now Lincoln-based 72nd Civil Support Team, which helps Nebraskans after natural disasters and aids civilian authorities during major spectator events.
An engineer company, a forward support company, a military police detachment and a transportation detachment will move to the center from other locations in eastern Nebraska, Ingalsbe said.
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com