National Guard Opens New Armory In Ocean County

The new armory will house operations for the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. (Photo courtesy NJ National Guard - Mark C. Olsen)

  MANCHESTER – The ribbon was cut for the Lakehurst Readiness Center (armory) during a recent ceremony at the new facility.

  The nearly $16 million, 40,762-square-foot armory will provide the soldiers of Bravo Company, 250th Brigade Support Battalion, 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, New Jersey Army National Guard with a modern, state-of-the-art facility with classroom training, administration, maintenance operations, and equipment storage.

  “I am grateful for the support of the federal legislature and Governor (Phil) Murphy in prioritizing the funding for this project, and for the many teams that have guided this project from concept to reality in the last five years,” Brigadier General Lisa J. Hou said.

  Hou who serves as the Adjutant General of New Jersey and Commissioner of Military and Veterans Affairs added, “this facility gives our soldiers a phenomenal foundation for the training that will prepare them for future calls of our state and nation.”

  Brigadier General Hou explained, “this means that the core maintenance unit of our combat brigade has a place to perform its mission. That’s 40,000 square feet of turning wrenches. That’s 40,000 square feet of maintenance activities for the Brigade’s combat vehicles and for our E-4s, that’s 40,000 square feet of preparation for the [noncommissioned officer] corps.”

  “Finally, an armory is so much more than just a building. It is a place for our units to own as their home station, conduct training, and build camaraderie. It is a place for our soldiers to bring their loved ones on Family Day,” she noted.

  “The completion of this new building also symbolizes the many successful partnerships that go into a project of this scale. The opening of the Lakehurst Readiness Center demonstrates our mutual commitment to the priorities of people, readiness, and modernization,” she added.

  Congressman Chris Smith (R-4th) was present for the ceremony. He stated, “even as we mark the opening of this facility, 2,000 of our fellow citizens from the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team plan for their deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.”

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Lisa J. Hou, D.O., center, and Rep. Christopher H. Smith, (R-4th), cut the ribbon to officially open the National Guard Readiness Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. (Photo courtesy NJ National Guard – Mark C. Olsen)

  “These New Jersey ‘citizen-soldiers’ will be deploying to the Middle East in what will be the largest deployment of New Jersey National Guard personnel since 2008,” he added. Smith serves as senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

  “Now – more than ever – the United States must enhance and invest in the capabilities that provide deterrence and military power projection across the globe to mitigate threats posed by malign actors. The price of peace is eternal vigilance, and that is exactly what you are doing here,” Smith told the Bravo Company command team.

  Smith commented, “modern infrastructure like this new, 40,000-square-foot Readiness Center, and the sprawling two-bay KC-46 hanger opened a few months ago, are tangible evidence of the vital and ever-expanding role the Joint Base plays in defending freedom and ensuring the security of the United States.”

  The project, that is federally funded through the military construction program will achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification, a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.