DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — Visitors to the Camp Grafton Training Center (CGTC) observed the unveiling of the 164th Regimental Regional Training Institute’s (164th RTI) new 185,000 square foot training facility at a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 7.
This public event was attended by Gov. John Hoeven, Congressman Earl Pomeroy, Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota National Guard adjutant general, as well as North Dakota National Guard retirees including a number of former 164th Regiment commanders.
Visitors took tours of the $30.67 million facility following the ribbon cutting.
The first of a two-phased project, the building will serve as a schoolhouse and billeting location for military engineers and Officer Candidates from across the country. The 164th RTI trains nearly 60 percent of all Reserve Component U.S. Army Engineers.
The new building boasts 60 rooms for housing students, plumbing and electrical labs, an assembly hall with volleyball courts and basketball hoops, a 25,000 square foot building material storage space to house carpentry, electrical, masonry and plumbing materials and an indoor running track incorporated into the corridor system.
Students will begin occupying and training in the new facility at the end of September.
Gov. John Hoeven cited the importance of military engineering, not only during overseas missions, but at home as well.
“When you see our Guardsmen performing in the variety of capacities needed to assist their communities, most often they are applying engineering techniques,” he said.
In particular, Hoeven noted the ingenuity of North Dakota National Guard military engineers during the statewide flood fight in the spring of 2009. Two innovative concepts for staving off flood waters were developed and supported by Guardsmen that year − the use of one-ton sandbags emplaced by Blackhawk helicopters on breaches in dikes and the use of military composition (C-4) explosives to break apart an ice jam on the Missouri River near Bismarck, N.D.
“This building will ensure that our Guardsmen receive the very best training and will also allow them to impart their skills and knowledge to other Guardsmen, Reservists and active duty personnel all over the country,” Hoeven said. “This, in turn, will benefit our citizens throughout the United States.”
Congressman Earl Pomeroy said students will not only receive training to help them execute their duties during deployments, but they will also receive schooling that they can apply to civilian job markets.
“We’re giving those that train here life skills that they’ll carry forever,” he said. “This is a true achievement for our entire community and we are very pleased.”
The economic impact to the Devils Lake region presented by the Camp Grafton Training Center and the 164th RTI reaches nearly $50 million each year.
Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk commended the efforts of “literally hundreds of people” who participated in the advancement of the RTI facility.
“This building will serve the 164th Regional Training Institute staff and the Soldiers that train here for many years to come,” he said. “This is a great showcase of who we are and what we offer to the state and nation.”
The first phase of the building construction began May 2008.
Phase two of the RTI project is scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2017 with a projected cost of $20 million. This phase will add 68,000 square feet with two additional billeting wings. All totaled, the new building will be able to house 260 students and will cover nearly 250,000 square feet.
Col. Steve Tabor, 164th RTI commander, said that the North Dakota National Guard is working with the National Guard Bureau and the congressional delegation to accelerate the second phase of the project.
The RTI provides 25 fully-accredited engineer courses each year. More than 200 classes will be provided this fiscal year including Engineer Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) training, Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES) training to engineers on active and reserve status and North Dakota National Guard Officer Candidate School (OCS) training.
Engineer MOS training is comprised of combat, vertical construction and horizontal construction training.
The 164th RTI received a “Fully Accredited” rating in 2008 during an accreditation review by the U.S. Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., by achieving success in all evaluated areas and scoring in the highest percentile for U.S. Army training standards.
In 2005, the RTI became the first engineer school to achieve an “Institute of Excellence” status from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).
Currently, there are 90 full-time Soldiers and 14 traditional Guardsmen who support the RTI.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,500 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about 150 North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas while more than 4,000 remain in the state for emergency response and national defense. For every 10,000 citizens in North Dakota, 52 serve in the North Dakota National Guard, a rate that’s more than four times the national average.
For additional information please visit:
NDNG Media Advisory (8/3/2010)
Camp Grafton to host Regional Training Institute Building Dedication & Open House
High Resolution Photos available on Flickr "164th RTI Building Dedication"