By Staff Sgt. Toshiko FraleyDecember 13, 2010
KNIGHTDALE, N.C. - Hundreds of Army Reserve Soldiers assigned to the 518th Sustainment Brigade, 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, will have a new place to hang their beret after construction is completed on a new facility near Raleigh, N.C.
Col. John Strickland, commander for the 518th Sustainment Bde. and several community leaders used 10 gold-painted shovels to break ground during a Dec. 11 ceremony, leading the way for a new training building, maintenance facility and a storage building -- totaling more than 22,000 square feet on the 20-acre site.
The 81st Regional Support Command, based at Fort Jackson, S.C., hosted the groundbreaking ceremony, which brought representatives from throughout the Knightdale community and the Army Reserves.
Johnny Dwiggins, the Army Reserve Ambassador for North Carolina, welcomed the guests during a day that was wet and gloomy but marked not just the beginning of the construction project but the development of a long lasting friendship.
"I say Fort Knightdale because this will become the Army home to the 600 to 700 Army Reserve Soldiers, Families and support personnel who will serve here," Dwiggins said. "This is where they will train and stand ready, when called upon to defend the freedoms we all hold so dear."
Local and federal representative spoke briefly about the excitement surrounding the construction of the Army Reserve Center in Knightdale. The project symbolizes a new beginning between the Army Reserves and the local community according to many of the speakers.
"This new Army Reserve facility represents a significant investment, by Congress and America's Army Reserve, in your community," Dwiggins said.
The initial investments of a $25 million facility, coupled with utilities, maintenance, upkeep and spending by the hundreds of Soldiers and their families who will serve here, make the construction of this Army Reserve facility a substantial investment in the community by the Army Reserve, he said.
Soldiers are scheduled to move into the facilities in late summer of 2012.