AF opens new nuclear training center
by Staff Sgt. Torri Savarese
90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
1/4/2013 - F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. (AFNS) -- Almost 10 years of joint effort and cooperation culminated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Nuclear Security Tactics Training Center in Guernsey, Wyo., Dec. 13.
The $4.2 million facility boasts 14,500 square feet of functional space for training classrooms and cadre offices, and has been something the leadership of the 20th Air Force has been hoping for since 2004.
'This facility has been a vision of Air Force nuclear leaders, as well as Wyoming state leaders, for years,' said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Carey, 20th AF commander. 'It was truly a joint effort between the town of Guernsey, the state of Wyoming and the Air Force to make that vision come to fruition.'
Carey was the keynote speaker for the ceremony, and shared the honor of cutting the ribbon with Maj. Gen. Luke Reiner, The Adjutant General of Wyoming, and Maj. Jay Parsons, 620th Ground Combat Training Squadron commander.
'The Air Force has always had a requirement to secure nuclear weapons, to ensure the safe and secure transport of these weapons and to deny any unauthorized access to secure areas,' Carey said. 'Camp Guernsey (Wyo.) is the only place in the world where this type of specialized training, to prepare security forces Airmen for that mission, takes place. This facility gives us the necessary infrastructure for both cadre and students to participate in professional training for nuclear security.'
Carey expressed the importance of the 620th GCTS mission, both in training nuclear security forces Airmen, and Airmen who are preparing to deploy overseas for contingency operations.
'This allows more fielded forces to benefit from structured, focused training and further develop in-home squadron advanced training,' Carey said.
The new facility increases the training capability by four times what it was before, Carey added. Instead of only 100 students able to receive training at one time, now 400 are able to train at Guernsey.
'We work hand-in-hand with Guernsey and the surrounding communities,' Parsons said. 'We do a lot for each other and having that relationship helps us all get a lot of things done.'
He explained how the members of the 620th GCTS participate in everything local from parades to clean up to cattle branding.
'It really makes us a tighter group,' he said.
Mr. Dave Lycan, 620th GCTS deputy commander, who has been involved in the project since the beginning, cited how beneficial the increased space will be for the 620th GCTS, as well as incoming students.
'We're not limited in class size, so we can have 150 students per classroom, allowing students to get all their classroom training before going out for the application piece,' he explained. 'This increases throughput, as well as gives us more room for staff and cadre.'
The new facility adds to the existing 23,000 square-foot building the squadron inhabits on Camp Guernsey.
Carey, Parsons and Lycan all stated how good it was to see the project all come together, and how it could not have been completed without the joint efforts of local, state and Air Force leadership.
Along with his appreciation for the local community, Carey concluded his visit with a thank-you to the men and women who serve at Camp Guernsey every day.
'Thank you. I salute you, and I'm proud of you,' he said.
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