Welcome readiness center
The state and federal government have invested some $12 million into a new readiness center for the Colorado National Guard in Grand Junction.
We welcome the arrival of the readiness center and its complement of 131 citizen-soldiers, all part of Charlie Company of the First Battalion, 157th Infantry.
The presence of the readiness center and the quality of the people there will likely inspire people to consider service in the National Guard, Lt. Col. Robert W. Redding, the battalion commander, said.
Early indications are that Redding is right.
When the project began, Charlie Company had five members who lived on the West Slope. With its opening on Saturday, the company counts as many as 35 West Slope residents among its ranks.
While much is made of the economic benefit of a $12 million investment in the Grand Valley via the Guard, there is more than money to the presence of the National Guard.
With the unit, the valley and the West Slope are one step more prepared for the kinds of natural events that routinely confront western Colorado, such as flooding and heavy snows. Of course, as the Oklahoma earthquake demonstrates, no region is perfectly safe and for that reason, we welcome the new Colorado Army National Guard readiness center.