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Groundbreaking held for new National Guard Readiness Center

Published: Dec. 12, 2017 at 4:51 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2017 at 9:24 PM EST
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A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the North Carolina Army National Guard’s...
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the North Carolina Army National Guard’s 1st-120th Infantry Regiment Headquarters to kick off the construction of a new $16-million Readiness Center. (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The National Guard will soon have a new home in Wilmington.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the North Carolina Army National Guard's 1st-120th Infantry Regiment Headquarters to kick off the construction of a new $16-million readiness center.

The current armory, which is more than 50 years old and is located on 41 acres just south of the Wilmington International Airport, is being demolished to make way for the new 50,150-foot facility.

"We are right in hurricane alley and have suffered damage including mold infestation that made working in the facility a health hazard," Master Sgt. John Setera said.

Setera said the guard is often called upon to respond to hurricanes and natural disasters in the southern part of the state, so having an up to date facility to work out of and house equipment is a must.

"This is a key strategic position in order to have National Guard and resources able to support the southeastern part of the state," Setera said. "We can now be a better and more relevant asset to the community."

The facility was once owned by the Air Force before it was given to the National Guard in 1975.

"The new readiness center will meet the needs of today's modern National Guard," Lt. Col. Rodney Newton, NCNG's director of facilities, said. "The building will be environmentally friendly, cost-efficient and a great place for over 200 soldiers to train in."

Construction on the project is expected to be completed by September 2019.

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