New $8 million facility will support 17 Nevada Army Guard units

Marked by a Paiute blessing and a ribbon cutting hosted by Adjutant General Brig. Gen. William Burks, the Harry Reid Training Center’s state-of-the-art Field Maintenance Shop opened this fall.

The $8 million facility more than doubles the Nevada Army Guard’s capability to maintain its northern Nevada ground vehicle fleet.

The new facility will support field and maintenance operation for 17 northern Army Guard units; the types of equipment maintained at the facility will include wheeled vehicles, towed vehicles, engineering equipment and communication electronics.

Since 2013, the Nevada Army Guard has added two readiness centers (North Las Vegas and Carlin) and two maintenance shops (Las Vegas and Stead) to its infrastructure, resulting in an additional 110,000 square feet of training, administration and maintenance space for its 3,200 soldiers.

Burks said the nation’s other adjutants general are envious of the Nevada Guard expanding infrastructure.

“We are light years ahead of many states in terms of facilities, thanks in large part to the work of our congressional delegation,” Burks said during his remarks Oct. 12.

Inside the shop

The administrative and training space at the 13,563-square foot facility is now available for use, but vehicles were not set to roll through the facility until this month when the final floor finishing is complete.

The field maintenance shop received a silver environmental performance certification designated by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design organization due to its innovative technologies implemented to lower energy consumption and operational costs.

The facility’s “green” features include a geothermal loop heat exchanger and a photovoltaic (solar cell electrical production) system.

“In addition to being a fabulous facility, this building is designed to be friendly to the environment,” Burks said.

Combined with four previously-built maintenance bays, the six new state-of-the-art bays at the FMS give the Nevada Army Guard a total of 10 bays on the readiness center campus.

The size of the six new bays will provide the space needed to maintain any vehicle in the Nevada Army Guard fleet, including Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks. The new field maintenance shop also features a 15-ton overhead crane; in the past, maintainers were forced to drive to Carson City for work requiring a crane.

Special ceremony

As is Nevada Guard custom at building unveilings, four representatives from the Pyramid Lake Veterans and Warriors organization were present for a blessing of the land on Oct. 12.

Spiritual leader Ralph Burns headed the contingent that included Robert Tilton, Lewis Lincoln and Dustin Barr. Barr is a veteran who spent six years in the Nevada Army Guard with the 593rd Transportation Company.

Burns ended his blessing – given in the Paiute language – with the words “Poowa, Poowa,” which denotes the end of a blessing in Paiute and sends the message on the wind to the creator.

Any ill will between the Paiutes and the military in Nevada is ancient history, Burns said.

“Few may realize it, but 80 percent of Native Americans males from the Pyramid Lake area are either in the military or have served in the military,” Burns said. “In my blessing, I echoed what was said during the military invocation: We prayed for all who will work here and all who will use it – it has been blessed in a good way by native peoples.”

Supporting readiness

The new field maintenance shop will support readiness for 889 soldiers and 460 pieces of equipment for all units training in Reno, Fallon, Elko, Carlin and Winnemucca.

Although it’s a huge addition to the maintenance capabilities of the Nevada Army Guard in northern Nevada, the size of the new field maintenance shop pales in comparison to the 41,000-square foot, $23 million Cometa Complex Field Maintenance Shop that opened in Las Vegas in July 2013.

The old northern field maintenance shop built in 1995, will be retained and transition into a communications and satellite maintenance and repair shop.

The majority of the $8 million appropriated by the Federal Military Construction program for the facility remained in northern Nevada. H &K Architects provided the architecture and engineering design and K7 Construction was the project’s contractor; both firms are in Reno.

Sgt. 1st Class Erick Studenicka is with the Nevada National Guard.

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