JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The U.S. Army Reserve marked another milestone in helping its Soldiers remain a trained and ready part of the Total Force by breaking ground March 18 on a new Army Reserve Center here.

The $20 million, state-of-the-art facility will offer the latest in training and administrative resources to include classrooms, a learning center, a library and a weapons simulator.

"As commanding general of the Army Reserve's 99th Regional Support Command, one of my primary responsibilities is to support the 44,000 Army Reserve Soldiers living and serving throughout the 13 northeastern states by providing the facilities in which they can prepare for deployments and other missions when the nation calls," said Maj. Gen. Troy D. Kok, who hosted the event.

"This facility represents the next step toward ensuring that America's Army Reserve remains the most capable, combat-ready and lethal federal reserve force in the history of the nation," he continued.

The 87,000-square-foot training center is scheduled to be home to approximately 600 Army Reserve Soldiers in 15 units and detachments currently occupying a dozen base facilities.

"This facility matters because it will support, encourage, train and help enable our reserve component to be ready when they are called on for service," said U.S. Representative Tom MacArthur, representing New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District.

"I want to honor every man and woman who's serving in every capacity in all branches of service in our nation's military, whether it's active duty or reserve component, whether it's combat or support, whether it's people who will never be put in harm's way or are in harm's way every moment -- every man and woman in uniform matters to our nation's defense," he added.

Consolidating these units in this new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver facility will allow the Army Reserve to reduce its impact on the environment while at the same time saving taxpayer money.

"These fiscal, environmental and operational benefits leave no doubt that today is a great day for the Army Reserve and for the Soldiers who will one day call this facility home," Kok said.

The facility is scheduled to open in January 2019.