Thursday, December 13, 2012 -- Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray joined General Frank J. Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Major General L. Scott Rice, the Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard (MANG) to celebrate the 376th birthday of the National Guard and the grand opening of the Massachusetts National Guard headquarters at Hanscom Air Force Base.
"Hanscom is a valued partner of the Commonwealth. The base boosts the local economy and creates jobs," said Governor Patrick. "The impressive new Joint Force Headquarters creates a permanent headquarters to better support the base's dual military mission. Massachusetts military bases are vital to fueling our innovation-based economy and will continue to have this Administration's support."
"As we celebrate the National Guard's 376th birthday, we also celebrate a new beginning in the Commonwealth for the Massachusetts National Guard, Hanscom Air Force Base, and surrounding communities," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "This partnership will strengthen the Guard's presence, our military security, and resources for our servicemen and women."
"The opening of this facility is one example of the critical investments America has made in our National Guard," said General Frank J. Grass. "Today's Guard is the best trained, equipped and led force since its inception - 376 years ago today."
The new headquarters has been operational since Nov. 5 and was built to be a state-of-the-art facility -- where the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Military Division and Massachusetts National Guard, as a community-based - operational force will continue its mission to train as a joint warfighting force.
The new headquarters will lead by example and maximize green technologies, ergonomic design, and internal and external communication technologies to sustain the highest organizational effectiveness and efficiency. During construction, more than 250 jobs were created to build and design this structure, and it will support the Massachusetts Guard's effort to add 150 new jobs to our state-wide end-strength in 2013.
With Governor Patrick's support, Lieutenant Governor Murray issued an Executive Order in February 2012 establishing the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force to formally bring together public and private partners to support the state's military bases, including Hanscom Air Force Base.
The newly constructed MANG Joint Force Headquarters at Hanscom solidifies a strategic partnership with the United States Air Force that provides improved physical and data security, superior bandwidth, and an appropriate military infrastructure that strengthens the MANG's state and federal mission readiness to the benefit of the people of Massachusetts and the Nation. According to the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, Hanscom Air Force Base includes more than 18,000 direct and indirect jobs with an economic impact greater than $8.4 billion. Now, with the presence of the Joint Force Headquarters at Hanscom Air Force Base, the new headquarters will add significantly to Hanscom's civic life and economic vitality across the region.
"The new Joint Force Headquarters of the Massachusetts National Guard at Hanscom Air Force is an excellent model for how local, state, and federal governments can work together to enhance our military assets, improve our local economy, and support the National Guard's missions," said Congressman Ed Markey, Dean of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation. "This complex will provide our soldiers and airman with the first class facilities that they so richly deserve. I commend Governor Deval Patrick and Major General Scott Rice for their dedication to this vital project for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
"After the Guard's 376 years protecting us, this top-notch facility at of one of Massachusetts' strategic and celebrated bases is a boost to our emergency response efforts and our security," said Senator John Kerry. "I'm really proud that Massachusetts continues to lead the way, and I'm grateful to Governor Patrick and our military leaders for helping to make this happen."
"It is only appropriate that the new headquarters of the Massachusetts National Guard be built alongside the Battle Road between Lexington and Concord where the original Minutemen fought to secure the rights and freedoms we enjoy today," said Senator Scott Brown. "This state-of-the-art facility will ensure that our modern day Citizen Soldiers and Airmen will be well poised to contend with the threats, man-made and natural, that our Commonwealth and Nation can expect to face in the 21st century. The service members we send into harm's way deserve the very best we can give them, and this new headquarters certainly meets that standard.
"It is with great pleasure that I officially welcome the new Joint Force Headquarters to Hanscom Air Force Base today, said Congressman John Tierney, who represents some of the communities that surround Hanscom. "This new location strengthens Hanscom, our community, and our National Guard. The men and women in the Massachusetts National Guard will now be even better suited to serve our state and country, with this strategic location, and the stellar support and infrastructure Hanscom Air Force Base offers."
"Massachusetts continues to lead the way with some of America's most innovative military resources and the new National Guard headquarters at Hanscom is no exception," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "With the new location come new capabilities, including state-of-the-art technology, green initiatives and more efficient emergency response. It joins an impressive array of facilities already at Hanscom that are developing cutting-edge technology and paving the way for the future of our military. Congratulations to the Massachusetts National Guard and happy birthday."
Three hundred and seventy six years ago on December 13, 1636, the Massachusetts National Guard was founded as the Massachusetts Bay Colonial Militia, when town militia companies were organized into three permanent militia regiments. Ever since, the Massachusetts National Guard has provided a trained and ready operational force, serving the community, the commonwealth and the nation.