This week marked an important day in our state's history as we opened a new Nebraska National Guard Joint Force Headquarters on the Nebraska National Guard air base in Lincoln.
This 140,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility replaces several aging, 1960s-era buildings and an underground facility that was utilized by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and served as the site of our state emergency operations center.
The new Joint Force Headquarters will house elements of the Nebraska Army and Air National Guard and Nebraska Military Department, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, the state's emergency operations center, the Nebraska National Guard's joint operations center, and a dispatch center for the Nebraska State Patrol. This facility will help us better coordinate responses to emergencies and natural disasters for many years to come.
By bringing together significant components of our state's emergency response community under one roof, we will be able to provide a higher level of readiness to respond to unpredictable emergencies and natural disasters. This will increase our ability to better assist our state's citizens in times of need.
Additionally, the new joint force headquarters will serve as the primary state headquarters for our Nebraska National Guard forces. It will bring together our Nebraska National Guard Adjutant General's operations, training, administrative, communications and logistical staffs together in a facility designed to better prepare our Army and Air National Guard members for the future.
What we have learned and relearned over the past months and recent years is that realistic training between the various elements of local, state and federal government is very important in maintaining the high level of readiness that we must have to respond to whatever the future holds. This new Joint Force Headquarters will be an important tool in helping us as a state maintain that readiness.
This facility is part of Nebraska's continuing effort to ensure that the men and women of the Nebraska National Guard, and their families, are able to prepare themselves for diverse missions closer to home, while still honoring the legacy of the Citizen Soldier concept.
The Nebraska Army and Air National Guard, Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, and a dispatch center of our Nebraska State Patrol will work and train together utilizing modern and technologically improved equipment. We will ensure that we stand ready to provide the support that our citizens deserve whenever needed.
I am very proud of the work these dedicated teams of Nebraskans are doing for their neighbors and friends during their hours of greatest need. They live by the mottos of service before self, of commitment to duty, and of dedication to one's fellow man.
The Joint Force Headquarters will provide the resources to fully support the statewide collaboration that is the essential element in our success as a state.