A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to officially open a Readiness Center for the 35th Infantry Division headquarters and transient training barracks at the Mission Training Complex at Fort Leavenworth on March 25.
Dignitaries present at the ceremony were U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, State Senator Jeff Pittman, Maj. Gen. John Andonie, deputy director of the Army National Guard; Maj. Gen. David Weishaar, the adjutant general, Brig. Gen. John Rueger, rear detachment commander, 35th Infantry Division; and Lt. Col. James Davis, commander, Fort Leavenworth Mission Training Complex.
The new Readiness Center encompasses more than 101,000 square feet and includes office spaces, classrooms, physical training areas, a locker room, an auditorium, assembly hall, heated storage areas, arms vaults, and a medical unit. With more than 72,000 square feet of space, the Transient Training barracks can accommodate 540 enlisted soldiers in 10-bed bays.
“I’m an officer who served in the 42nd Infantry Division,” said Andonie. “Serving as a division staff officer, I can truly appreciate this gift of space for the 35th ID. When I was in the division, we always struggled to have enough space to train the division staff. Division staffs are huge. They need space in order to set up mission command systems in order to train effectively.”
Moran was instrumental in negotiating for money in military spending bills to support the construction projects.
“So, this is an investment of almost fifty million dollars,” said Moran. “Not my money – yours, ours together, taxpayer money in support of those who defend our nation.”
Moran said the new facilities were more than just a place to train.
“This center is certainly a building, certainly a place to train and to house Soldiers,” said Moran, “but what it really is, is a monument, a monument to freedom and liberty, a monument to the American men and women who make a commitment to the American people, who say ‘We’re going to try to make our country and the world a safer place.’”