Minden: Governor Bobby Jindal joined Louisiana National Guard Adjutant General Glenn Curtis at the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC) at Camp Minden. The new center is the first Louisiana National Guard AFRC in North Louisiana and will house 315 military men and women.
The AFRC will serve as headquarters for the Louisiana National Guard’s 1083rd Transportation Company, the 39th Military Policy Company and the 122nd Air Support Operations Squadron. It will more efficiently house and train these units to respond to emergencies like national disasters.
Governor Jindal said, “The Armed Forces Reserve Center is great news for Minden and for our entire state. Over the past eight years, our state has faced unthinkable disasters from hurricanes to floods to oil spills – and whatever the emergency has been, the men and women of the Louisiana National Guard have always stepped up and answered the call when our people needed it most. We know that in order to respond to disasters and keep our communities safe, the National Guard needs the right tools, training and resources to protect our families. That’s why we supported this brand new facility, which will help train Guardsmen with new technology and help them continue to protect our state and our nation.”
The nearly 90,000 square foot center features classrooms and training spaces, audio visual equipment, an assembly hall and a physical fitness area. It also has a backup generator for powering the facility during emergencies, and includes a nearly 12,000 square foot maintenance building for the repair of military vehicles and equipment.
The total project cost for the readiness center, including the building and its design, is $26.5 million. The state provided $1.3 million of this total. In addition, the state also invested more than $6 million that was used for infrastructure to support the readiness center, and other buildings and troop halls at Camp Minden.
This new center is in addition to the Regional Training Institute (RTI) – another training center at Camp Minden. In 2008, the state announced that $23.8 million in federal funding was approved for the RTI, and the Administration invested $4 million from the state’s rapid response fund for the project to secure the federal funds. The RTI has already created 25 direct jobs and will create 117 total jobs over 10 years. Another 173 indirect jobs are estimated to result from the project for a total of 290 new jobs.