• Military service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders gather at the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center for the facility's grand opening in Chattanooga Tenn., Dec. 3, 2011.

    Grand opening Chattanooga Army Reserve Center

    Military service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders gather at the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center for the facility's grand opening in Chattanooga Tenn., Dec. 3, 2011.

  • L-R, Col. Patrick Briley, directorate of public works, 81st Regional Support Command, Steven Leach, representative of City of Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, Cpt. Lex Oren Jr. Chattanooga Army Reserve Center facility manager and commander of the 316th Engineer Company, Jim Coppinger, Hamilton County mayor, Ambassador John Dyess, United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Tennessee cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, Chattanooga, Tenn. Dec. 3, 2011.

    Grand opening Chattanooga Army Reserve Center

    L-R, Col. Patrick Briley, directorate of public works, 81st Regional Support Command, Steven Leach, representative of City of Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, Cpt. Lex Oren Jr. Chattanooga Army Reserve Center facility manager and commander of the...

  • Cpt. Lex Oren Jr., facility manager of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, delivers his remarks during the facility's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Dec. 3, 2011. Oren is also the commander of the 316th Engineer Company.

    Grand opening Chattanooga Army Reserve Center

    Cpt. Lex Oren Jr., facility manager of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, delivers his remarks during the facility's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Dec. 3, 2011. Oren is also the commander of the 316th Engineer Company.

  • Ambassador John Dyess, United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Tennessee addresses an audience made up of service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, Chattanooga Tenn., Dec. 3, 2011. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Eugene, 412th PAO)

    Grand opening Chattanooga Army Reserve Center

    Ambassador John Dyess, United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Tennessee addresses an audience made up of service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Chattanooga Army...

  • Steven Leach, representative of City of Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield delivers his remarks to an audience made up of service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, Chattanooga Tenn., Dec. 3, 2011.

    Grand opening Chattanooga Army Reserve Center

    Steven Leach, representative of City of Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield delivers his remarks to an audience made up of service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the...

  • Anetta Ferguson, principal of Hardy Elementary School, Chattanooga Tenn., receives the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriotic Employer award following a ribbon Ambassador John Dyess, United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Tennessee addresses an audience made up of service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, Chattanooga Tenn., Dec. 3, 2011. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Eugene, 412th PAO)cutting ceremony that marked the grand opening of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, Chattanooga, Tenn., Dec. 3, 2011. Ferguson supervises Cpt. Lex Oren, commander 316th Engineer Company, and Chattanooga Army Reserve Center facility manager, in Oren's civilian capacity as an elementary school teacher. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Eugene, 412th PAO)

    Grand opening Chattanooga Army Reserve Center

    Anetta Ferguson, principal of Hardy Elementary School, Chattanooga Tenn., receives the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriotic Employer award following a ribbon Ambassador John Dyess, United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Tennessee...

  • U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann delivers his remarks to an audience made up of service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, Chattanooga Tenn., Dec. 3, 2011.

    Grand opening Chattanooga Army Reserve Center

    U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann delivers his remarks to an audience made up of service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, Chattanooga...

  • Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger addresses an audience made up of service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, Chattanooga Tenn., Dec. 3, 2011.

    Grand opening Chattanooga Army Reserve Center

    Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger addresses an audience made up of service members and City of Chattanooga community leaders during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, Chattanooga Tenn., Dec...

  • Ambassador John Dyess, United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Tennessee, presents Anetta Ferguson, principal of Hardy Elementary School, Chattanooga Tenn., with an Army Reserve Coin, and an Army Reserve Medallion at the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, Chattanooga Tenn., Dec. 3, 2011. Ferguson also received an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriotic Employer award and an Army Reserve flag. Ferguson supervises Cpt. Lex Oren, commander 316th Engineer Company, and Chattanooga Army Reserve Center facility manager, in Oren's civilian capacity as an elementary school teacher.

    Grand opening Chattanooga Army Reserve Center

    Ambassador John Dyess, United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Tennessee, presents Anetta Ferguson, principal of Hardy Elementary School, Chattanooga Tenn., with an Army Reserve Coin, and an Army Reserve Medallion at the Chattanooga Army Reserve...

CHATTANOOGA Tenn.-Nearly a year after the 316th Engineer Company officially activated, the unit commander Cpt. Lex Oren joined community leaders in a ribbon cutting ceremony that marked the grand opening of the Chattanooga Army Reserve Center, the unit's new home on Bonny Oaks Drive.

Oren is also facility commander of the nearly 47,000 square foot structure, which is part of an approximately 15-million-dollar complex constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers. The compound sits on 26 acres of land, and includes a 13, 585 square foot maintenance shop, and a Tennessee Air National Guard center.

"Seventeen years in the Army, and I've never had a building this nice," Oren said. "Everything's got new digital technology."

In addition to a computer lab and state of the art workout equipment, the building has a weapon simulator that enables Soldiers to train on individual and crew served weapons.

Spc. Markus Williams, a track mechanic with the 316th, says he's impressed with the gymnasium and space available to the five units that will occupy the building.

The facility also has motion sensor light switches, a feature that Williams, a full time Soldier, says he has difficulty getting accustomed to.

"The lights in my office turn themselves off," said Williams. "I have to [frequently] wave my hands to turn them back on."

"That's something he's going to have to live with," said Col. Patrick Briley, directorate of public works, 81st Regional Support Command, the organization responsible for the building. "All the new buildings have that. That's just a way of saving energy, and being good stewards of government funds."

Briley said the the city and county leader participation in the ceremony is a testament to the support the Army Reserve receives from the community.

"As you saw this morning, they came out in droves to support these Soldiers," Briley said. "That tells us that we put a brand new facility in the right community."

Local leaders who took part in the ribbon cutting included, Jim Coppinger, Hamilton County mayor, Ambassador John Dyess, United States Army Reserve Ambassador for Tennessee, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, and Steven Leach who represented City of Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.

Page last updated Sun December 18th, 2011 at 22:24