EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — Local officials attending a ground breaking ceremony on Friday for the New Rhode Island National Guard Joint Force Headquarters.
Officials said the new facility is part of a plan to enhance Rhode Island’s security and modernize the state’s infrastructure.
Senator Jack Reed, who is a senior member of both the Armed Services Committee and the Appropriations Committee, helped include $20 million to build the new National Guard Readiness Center in East Greenwich. He joined Governor Gina Raimondo and members of the Rhode Island National Guard for the ceremony.
“This new facility will help our citizen soldiers train for their mission, whether it is overseas or responding to major disasters here at home. I am pleased to help deliver federal resources to create an improved environment for our soldiers and the community here in East Greenwich,” said Senator Reed.
Officials say the new building will serve as a command and control center that will support training, administrative and logistical requirements for the Army and Air National Guard. The building will also include space to support inter-agency operations with state and federal partners, and may act as a joint headquarters for national-level response efforts during contingency operations.
The new headquarters is projected to support 220 full-time soldiers and airmen and the 3,00 men and women of the Rhode Island National Guard.
“I salute our National Guardsmen and women for the sacrifices they make and the risks they take to keep us safe. We have an obligation to support them and ensure they have the resources they need to effectively carry out their critical missions and come home safely, and this new facility is part of keeping that commitment,” said Senator Reed. “This new headquarters will be an important asset for the members of the Rhode Island National Guard. This building will help improve efficiency within the Command and enhance readiness by improving the quality of training for our soldiers and airmen.”
Officials said the Rhode Island contributed about $5 million for the facility, bringing the total cost to approximately $25 million.