Readiness & Regional Technology Center

Senator P. Leahy addresses crowdOn Saturday, May 10, 2003, Norwich University and the Vermont National Guard welcomed guests and dignitaries to the ribbon cutting and open house celebration of the Vermont National Guard's new Readiness & Regional Technology Center, located on the campus of Norwich University. Major General Martha Rainville, Norwich University President Richard W. Schneider, U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and James Jeffords and Vermont Governor Jim Douglas addressed the audience in front of the 88,000 square foot facility.

Often referred to as the "Armory of the Future", the Readiness & Regional Technology Center is a cutting-edge, 21st Century training and technology center, which will allow National Guard members to train using the most current technologies available, to prepare them for their critical role defending our nation. The opening of this one-of-a-kind facility in Northfield marks the successful conclusion of several years hard work and partnership between government, military and academia.

Armory technology demonstration"This is a great day for the nation," said Norwich President Richard W. Schneider "This is the only instance I know of where a National Guard armory is located on a college campus and what better place than the oldest private military college in the United States and the birthplace of ROTC?"

MG Rainville also referenced the unique and important partnership between the two groups. "What this building represents is a new beginning for an even stronger relationship between Norwich University and the Vermont National Guard. This center will help us to continue to prepare cadets and junior officers for the future."

Senator JeffordsVermont Senators Leahy and Jeffords were instrumental in securing the funding that made the new armory center a reality. In his remarks, Senator Leahy commented on the center's advanced technology and its benefits, "This will be a place where members of the Guard and the entire military are going to train using some of the most state-of-the-art, advanced simulators in the world … this is going to strengthen the university, and it's going to strengthen the Vermont National Guard."

The Vermont National Guard Readiness & Regional Technology Center is the only facility of its kind in the nation. As Senator Jeffords noted, "It gives us a glimpse of the future. This is a prototype -- an example of what other readiness & regional technology centers will look like. But there were no blueprints. The (Vermont) National Guard and Norwich University are pioneers."

ribbon cutting ceremonyIn addition to the important role the center will play in preparing our military for the battlefields of the 21st Century, it brings with it unique economic development opportunities for Vermont. Some 30-40 people will work out of the facility, and even more people will come to the center from across the region and the country to participate in training exercises and courses. The advanced technology resources housed in the center will also help Vermonters develop skills essential to securing successful careers in an increasingly technology-driven workplace.

"This center will prepare students and others for a higher technological future," said Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. "It is essential they be well trained in the highest technologies so that they have employment opportunities that meet the needs of themselves and their families in the years and generations to come."

dmudgett@norwich.edu, May 2003

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