Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
Recently, two new National Guard Readiness Centers near Mead and in Grand Island were opened. The new 44,000-square foot Mead Titan Readiness Center will serve as the home for the Nebraska Army National Guard's Troop B, 1-167th Cavalry, and a detachment of the 1167th Brigade Support Company and allow these two often-deployed units to more efficiently train at home, particularly on the Guard's 1,194 acre Mead Training Site. This will minimize time away from families and employers.
The new 92,000 square foot Grand Island Readiness Center will serve as home to seven Nebraska Army National Guard aviation units that operate out of the nearby Army Aviation Support Facility No. 2. Like the Mead Titan Readiness Center, which was built to be both technologically advanced and energy efficient, the Grand Island Readiness Center was designed to meet the needs of these highly deployable National Guard aviation units so that they, too, can train more effectively at home.
The opening of these two facilities were exciting days for the entire state of Nebraska. They demonstrate a response to the Nebraska National Guard's past activities, and signal that Nebraska is committed to ensuring that our National Guard men and women, and their families, are provided with the best possible facilities, equipment and training. They also send an important message to our state's young men and women about the opportunities available if they decide to join the Nebraska National Guard.
In past columns I've written about the many accomplishments made by our Nebraska National Guard Soldiers and Airmen. I am proud to report that once again, Nebraska National Guardsmen are leading the way in many efforts.
For example, Soldiers assigned to Chadron's Detachment 1, 1057th Transportation Company recently competed at the national level of the 46th Annual Phillip A. Connelly Awards Competition for Excellence in Food Service in April at Camp Guernsey, Wyoming. We are still waiting for the competition's final results. If this team of Nebraska Army Guard food specialists were to win the event, it would mark the second time in three years that Nebraska has claimed the Army's national championship in food service.
Two members of the Nebraska Air Guard's 170th Group at Offutt Air Force Base recently earned national awards. Master Sgt. Marsha Lane of Louisville, was recently named the recipient of the U.S. Air Force's Aviation Resource Management Award -- Air Reserve Component Noncommissioned Officer. Master Sgt. Tommy Butts of Palmyra, was named the U.S. Air Force Aircrew Flight Equipment Outstanding Civilian (Category II) of the Year.
Numerous Nebraska National Guard Soldiers and Airmen continue to make names for themselves and their units for the work they're doing in the areas of supply and maintenance excellence, marksmanship, physical fitness, diversity, journalism, and community outreach, many of which have been recognized at the local, state and regional levels.
Nebraskans are very proud of our Nebraska Army and Air National Guard. They continue to live up to and exceed their motto: "Always Ready, Always There."