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Senate OKs transfer of land to state for National Guard readiness center

The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a bill to transfer to the state of Nevada a parcel of Clark County land where the National Guard last year opened a $27 million readiness center.

“This is important legislation because without it, Clark County would have to charge the National Guard hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent each year,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a joint statement with Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.

“Instead of using their resources to pay for rent, the Nevada Army Guard can concentrate on protecting Nevada and training for the global war on terror,” Reid said.

Ensign said the readiness center “and the surrounding area will help prepare our soldiers, both physically and technically, to respond to the missions of the governor of Nevada and the president of the United States.”

“The men and women of the Nevada National Guard are an extraordinary group, and we need to do all we can to support them and enable them to do their jobs,” he said.

The 80,000-square-foot Las Vegas Readiness Center was dedicated in April 2007 as a facility for 430 soldiers in signal, medical, engineer and maintenance units.

In February, a team of law and detention experts from the 140th Military Police Brigade Liaison Detachment received deployment orders for Iraq during a ceremony at the center, in the southwest Las Vegas Valley.

Last year, a companion bill sponsored by Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., was approved by the House, formalizing the use of 45 acres for the center and land around it.

The surrounding area will be used for vehicle maintenance and emergency response support to first responders in situations such as those involving weapons of mass destruction.

Nevada’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Cynthia Kirkland, said the state’s military office was “extremely grateful for the efforts of our legislative delegation for making this happen.”

“This is long-awaited legislation that will finalize the transfer of the property for our newest readiness complex to ensure we have adequate facilities for the growing Nevada National Guard,” she said in a statement released Thursday.

Contact reporter Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308.

 

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