Stead Training Center
Army Guard Training Site Reno, Nevada
Skydivers and National Guard helicopters conduct extensive training on weekends at the Stead Airport [former Stead AFB], Stead, Nevada (13 miles north of Reno). The Nevada Army National Guard's Regional Training Institute 1-421st Regiment is the schoolhouse for the Nevada Army National Guard, located in Reno and Las Vegas Nevada. The 1-421st Regiment conducts professional development training for a variety of MOSQ, NCO development and Officer training. The 1-421st Regiment was previously the home of the Nevada Military Academy.
Bill Stead, a Nevada rancher, hydroplane racer, and World War II ace, in 1964 came up with the idea of reviving the National Air Races to help celebrate the centennial of Nevada's statehood. When Reno's Stead Air Force Base was closed in 1966, it was turned over to the city and renamed Stead Airfield, which has been the site of the Reno National Air Races ever since. Bill Stead was killed in a Formula One race in Florida shortly after the 1965 races. Stead AFB was named for his brother, Croston Stead, who had been killed in a crash while flying with the Nevado National Guard. Stead AFB was the site of the USAF Survival School.
A major program success was realized at the former Stead Air Force Base, Nevada. When Stead AFB was closed in the mid-1960s, its housing units - mostly duplexes and some single-family homes - were sold to private parties. The homes originally had been heated by oil stored in tanks buried in the yards. But in the late 1960's, the Air Force converted the heating systems to natural gas and abandoned the underground storage tanks (UST). In 1992, about 130 UST's were closed in place by filling each one with aqueous cement slurry. Subsequently, the Corps offered to remove any unclosed tanks. Through a Total Environmental Restoration Contract (TERC), the Corps of Engineers uncovered, removed and disposed of 217 UST's within 10 months and collected and analyzed soil samples from under the 130 tanks that had been closed in place. Within another month, the landscaping was restored around nearly 350 properties affected by the project. The work was completed with essentially no complaints from the homeowners and with positive recognition from the Nevada regulatory agency.
The Nevada Army National Guard OCS Program is structured into three phases. Phase 1 is an intensive two-week resident course held in June of each academic year. Phase 2 is normally associated with the traditional IDT drills (9-10 drill weekends) and is taught at the Stead Training Center in Reno, Nevada. Lastly Phase 3 is the culmination of the program and involves another two week resident phase (the following June) in Ft. Lewis, Washington. Following the successful completion of Phase 3, candidates are commissioned as Second Lieutenants.
In November 1998 a urban search and rescue exercise was conducted in Reno, Nevada. The State of Nevada provided three C-130 cargo aircraft to transport the entire team and equipment from Las Vegas to Stead airport near Reno. Near the airfield a giant rubble pile was created using tons of concrete slabs and rubble for the team to perform the exercise. The pile was constructed by donations from local contractors and construction companies. The pile incorporated access tunnels to safely position victims under tons of debris. The pile provided a realistic environment for conducting urban search and rescue operations. Over 10 state and local agencies participated in the exercise including the State of Nevada Office of Emergency Management, The Nevada National Guard, Washoe County Fire Department, and local volunteer organizations.
The Nevada National Guard hosted Class 12 of the National Guard's ChalleNGe Program March 1 - 5, 1999 at the Army Guard's Stead Training Center located at 4600 Alpha Avenue, Stead, Nevada. Approximately 120 students and 25 staff members from Mesa, Ariz., arrived at at the Stead Airport. Six of the students were from Nevada, three from Northern Nevada Communities and three from Las Vegas. ChalleNGe is a program designed to offer at-risk youth, who for one reason or another will not graduate from high school, an alternative to complete their education and receive a GED certificate. The five-month program is a military style program, which emphasized discipline, and offers the students life skill training along with the academics designed to help the student complete their GED by graduation. Many of the students who have successfully completed the program have received scholarships and gone on to pursue a college degree.
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