WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. – A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to officially open the 14th Civil Support Team’s new readiness facility at Camp Hartell, June 12, 2018. The building will support the training and preparedness of the Connecticut National Guard’s 14th Civil Support Team.
“The revitalization of Camp Hartell continues with the official opening of the CST’s Readiness Building,” Maj. Gen. Thaddeus J. Martin, Adjutant General and Commander of the Connecticut National Guard, said. “Now, this highly qualified group of Soldiers and Airmen has a custom facility to call their own as they continue serving the community at large with their unique skill set.”
The 14th CST is a 22-member unit consisting of both Connecticut Air and Army Guardsmen dedicated to providing support to civilian authorities when chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high explosive threats may exist.
“To see all of our wants and desires being worked into this building, it’s a big deal for us,” Maj. Matthew Silver, Commander of the 14th Civil Support Team, said. “It’s exciting.”
The new, state-of-the-art Readiness Building consists of 23,700 square feet of office, administrative, supply areas, classrooms, conference rooms, tool rooms, and storage. There are four ready bays. Also, there is a medical exam room and special storage for any special equipment. This new building has many infrastructure improvements including; site work, roadway, parking, utility, and drainage.
“The completion of this project shows yet again, the state and federal governments’ commitment to recapitalizing their investment in the
Connecticut National Guard,” Martin said. “Connecticut’s action on several levels, to include providing $500,000 in state bond funds, created this opportunity to secure nearly $11 million in federal funding to construct this new 24,000 square-foot facility.”
“Moving into a brand new, state-of-the-art building that’s specifically designed for our team, functions, needs, and requirements,” Silver said. “This is a big day for us because that’s exactly how this building was formed, we were involved throughout all the design phases of this building and we were consulted throughout the entire process.”
With eight different vehicles being stored in the new bays, there is even space for the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear response equipment.
“Everything moving into this building makes our productivity and our efficiency skyrocket,” Silver said. “As a result, it enhances our readiness. At the end of the day, our ability to quickly and efficiently get out of the door and respond to an incident is most important and that is what this building is going to allow us to do.”
During recent training in Alaska for the Artic Eagle 2018 exercise, the CST prepared for locating and identifying simulated chemical and radiological hazards. The new building will allow for more effective and efficient training exercises, similar to the Artic Eagle exercise, and will prepare the unit if there are any actual disasters in the state.
“This building is specifically built to properly house our equipment and maintain our equipment,” Silver said. “That in itself is what’s going to help us get out the door sooner.”
“With each project completion, we move closer to fulfilling our responsibility to provide Connecticut’s National Guard with the best possible training, equipment, and facilities necessary to ensure mission accomplishment,” Martin said. “To accept anything less does a huge disservice to our members, their families, and the citizens of our great state.”
This is the second ribbon cutting at Camp Hartell in less than three years. With plans for a ribbon cutting later this year and a ground breaking scheduled in early 2019, the Connecticut National Guard continues to provide its units and service members with top-notch facilities to conduct vital, life-saving training.