$15M military center will bring 150 soldiers a month to Richland for weekend drills

May 21, 2019 Veteran Support

The Washington Army National Guard will assign an undetermined Stryker Infantry Company to drill one weekend a month in Richland thanks to a multimillion-dollar investment in a new Readiness Center at the Horn Rapids Industrial Park.

The Washington Military Department said it will break ground on the 42,000-square-foot training facility next spring.

The building is expected to be ready for soldiers the following fall.

The military department will relocate one of the many Stryker companies associated with the National Guard’s 81st Brigade Combat Team to the Richland center for monthly training.

About 150 soldiers will drill there each month. The department will post three to four full-time soldiers there as well, said Karina Shagren, spokeswoman.

The military department bought the 40-acre site from the city of Richland for $1.7 million two years ago. It is at First Street and Polar Way, near the Preferred Freezer cold storage warehouse.

The center will boast a drill floor, classrooms, showers, kitchen and related support facilities. The military department expects to use it as a storage center for armored Stryker vehicles in the future.

Stryker vehicles are replacing the heavier tanks assigned to the 81st.

The tanks were too heavy for civilian roads and could have been useless in earthquakes, according to the military department.

The $15.2 million budget includes $11.4 million in Department of Defense funding and a $3.8 million match from the Washington state capital budget.

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