Today, Governor Bobby Jindal joined Major General Bennett C. Landreneau, Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard, to break ground on Phase One of the new Regional Training Institute (RTI) at Camp Minden. Just over one year ago, Governor Jindal traveled to Minden to announce that $23.8 million in federal funding had been approved for the new RTI -- and he also announced a $4 million investment from the state's rapid response fund for the project, which was critical in securing the federal funds. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Governor Jindal emphasized the importance of military installations in the state's economy as well as Louisiana's commitment to supporting the military.
Governor Jindal said, "Although our state has consistently and strongly supported our military for decades, many people aren't aware of the major role that Louisiana's military installations play in our state's overall economy. One of the best examples of the tremendous economic impact of the military in Louisiana is Camp Minden right here in Webster Parish.
"These critical investments are a great example of what can be accomplished when we work side by side with our federal partners to improve our state and our military. Indeed, we all recognized the importance of providing our military with the resources they need to be successful and what investments like this can do to grow our economy.
"Today, we're seeing these investments become a reality as we break ground on the first phase of the RTI, but we're also marking a new era of enhanced training for our nation's soldiers as well as significant economic growth for Webster Parish and all of Northwest Louisiana."
As a result of just the first phase of these new projects at Camp Minden, 117 new direct jobs are being created -- and another 173 indirect jobs will also be created for a total of 290 new jobs. An economic impact analysis indicates that the RTI will generate new state tax revenues totaling over $9.5 million in the first ten years of operations alone.
The new facilities will be constructed in four phases and are scheduled to be completed over the next ten years. The RTI will enhance the mission requirement of the Army National Guard to train soldiers. The RTI will provide regionalized combat arms, leadership, military occupational specialty (MOS), and general studies training for the Army National Guard The RTI monitors and coordinates academic instruction, food and lodging for soldier participation in courses and training.
The RTI Regiment has a staffing strength of 97 personnel. The training center will grow to a maximum student load of 538. The RTI will provide the necessary administrative, educational, dining and billeting areas needed to plan, program and conduct training for the region.
The RTI will transfer its operations to Camp Minden as the phased implementation of the RTI campus is established. Phase I construction will provide the site infrastructure for all four phases. A two-story, 14,600 square-foot billeting building and an 8,200 square-foot education/administration building will be constructed as well as an addition to the Dining Facility currently under construction.