New National Guard readiness center on the way

Published: Feb. 21, 2019 at 5:03 PM CST
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The South Dakota Legislature finished approving a mix of state and federal funds, about $19 million, for an Army National Guard aviation facility at Rapid City Regional Airport.

The 189th Aviation Battalion will manage day-to-day operations at the 58,000-square-foot building.

The battalion will use this facility for Black Hawk helicopter operations such as search and rescue, medevac, and wildland fire missions.

More than 150 soldiers from eight units will train in this state-of-the-art readiness center.

They are currently working out of a maintenance building, and are excited to have this new center to help with state and federal missions.

“This has been a top priority for the South Dakota Army National Guard for many years,” Lt. Col. Martin Yost said. “This aviation complex will be outstanding not only for soldiers but also for the citizens of South Dakota.”

The funding bill now goes to Gov. Kristi Noem for final approval.

Bids for construction were sent out earlier this month. The Guard plans to open the readiness center in two years.