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Armed Forces Reserve Center commissioned
MARYSVILLE — Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert and Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring not only delivered speeches and cut a ceremonial ribbon to commission the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Marysville on Sunday, April 1, but they also dedicated it by making some noise in a more boisterous way.
Under close supervision, Tolbert and Nehring took three tugs each at their respective cannons, to help render a 21-gun cannon salute just outside the $33 million facility, which boasts a 160,000-square-foot training center and an approximately 20,000-square-foot vehicle maintenance shop to support approximately 1,200 members of the National Guard and Army Reserve.
The local Armed Forces Reserve Center was built within 22 months and co-located the more than 250 soldiers from the headquarters of the Army Reserve’s 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, formerly located at Fort Lawton in Seattle, and the approximately 300 National Guardsmen formerly stationed at the Everett National Guard Armory, as well as Department of the Army support activities and offices.
Capt. Allen Toepfer, who announced the arrival of the official party and introduced distinguished visitors, explained that the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission of 2005 had recommended the closure of selected National Guard and Army Reserve centers in Puget Sound, as across the country, while the “Grow the Army” initiative has driven the Army Reserve to support additional brigade combat teams. As such, the local Armed Forces Reserve Center was designed to be a multifunctional facility, capable of accommodating varying units.
Tolbert and Nehring agreed that the Armed Forces Reserve Center fits in well with both of their communities, as Tolbert recounted how the Arlington Municipal Airport began as an airfield for the Navy during World War II.
“This state-of-the-art facility is so needed by the men and women who serve to keep our community and our country safe,” Tolbert said of the Armed Forces Reserve Center, which also includes a library and learning center, physical fitness areas and various administrative and other support roles for about 100 soldiers who are employed on site. “You’ll find that you have many new community partners here.”
Nehring noted that Marysville has been a Navy town since the opening of Naval Station Everett in 1994, but expressed pride that the arrival of the Armed Forces Reserve Center means that Marysville can now call itself “an all-services military town.” He recounted tales he’d heard from Col. Phillip Jolly of the 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, about how several soldiers dining in Marysville restaurants had already found their bills paid for by either fellow patrons or the owners of those establishments.
“It’s not always going to be free meals and fanfare, but you can bet that this community will get behind and support the Armed Forces Reserve Center,” Nehring said. “Those who work or train here will be welcomed like one of the family.”