By Sgt. 1st Class Alyn-Michael MacleodJuly 9, 2012
NEWARK, Del., (July 7, 2012) The Newark Armed Forces Reserve Center officially opened for business during a standing-room-only ribbon-cutting ceremony today.
The event was hosted by Maj. Gen. William D. Razz Waff, commanding general of the Army Reserve's 99th Regional Support Command, headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
"I see more than just brick, mortar and money when I look at this facility," said Waff. " I see an investment in our Soldiers, in our freedoms, and in our future."
Also speaking at the event was Honorable Matthew Denn, Lieutenant Governor of Delaware, Deputy Newark Mayor Jerry Clifton and Maj. Gen. Francis Vavala, The Adjutant General, Delaware National Guard.
Attendees included U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador Robert Bewick; Ms. Carol Houck Interim City Manager of Newark; Dr. Mikey Kloster, Chief of Staff, 99th Regional Support Command; Chief Warrant Five Vincent Giordano, Command Chief Warrant Officer, 99th Regional Support Command; Ms. Latisha Bracy representing U.S. Senator Christopher Coons, and Mr. Cerron Cadde representing U.S. Senator Thomas Carper.
According to Waff, the facility has three distinct benefits.
"First and foremost are the improved training opportunities this facility will offer its occupants," commented Waff.
The center is scheduled to be home to approximately 250 Soldiers from the Army Reserve's 485th Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Battalion, 374th Finance Company, 974th Transportation Company, 11th Battalion, Detachment 2, 7221 Installation Medical Support, ARCD 2D Battalion Area 6, as well as the Delaware Army National Guard's 150th Engineer Company and 140th Engineer Company.
"Secondly this energy-efficient facility will allow us to close outdated Army Reserve Centers and Delaware Army National Guard armories, thereby saving millions in renovations and sustainment costs," commented Waff.
According to the 99th Regional Support Command Directorate of Public Works, this facility replaces the Kirkwood Army Reserve Center located in Wilmington, Del.
"The Army Reserve is tasked with providing the right level of readiness at the right time to meet the nation's needs. This new construction will serve the Citizen-Soldiers of Danville well into the 21st Century as they continue to meet worldwide threats to our nation and our liberties," said Waff of the new facility's third benefit.
"The founding fathers had it right where in the in the Constitution they created a military structure that called for a small standing military with a militia of Citizen-Soldiers who could surge to fight the nations war and protect the homeland," said Vavala. " We call that the National Guard and the Reserves."
"Leveraging the resources of our Guard and Reserve makes perfect sense for America, and that's why this facility is so important and vital as a strategy for future economies and efficiencies," explained Vavala.
The energy-efficient complex features a training facility with approximately 81,000 square feet, organizational maintenance shop with approximately 8,000 square feet, and unheated storage building with approximately 1,400 square feet.
"At a time when only six-tenths of one percent of eligible Americans serve in the armed forces, no price is too high to pay to ensure our Soldiers have the best-possible resources with which to train and prepare to defend our freedoms and way of life," concluded Waff.
The 99th RSC acts as a "virtual installation" that provides world-class Base Operations support to over 51,000 Army Reserve Soldiers, 400 units and 300 facilities for the entire Northeast Region from Maine to Virginia for the Army Reserve in order to give our Warrior-Citizens and their Families the finest care, support, services and training.