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Training grounds open at Schenectady County Airport

Reservists from the Army, Navy and Marines came together to hoist flags in front of a new $18 million training facility at the Schenectady County Airport during a ribbon-cutting event on Thursday, May 29.

The 100,000-square-foot Joint Armed Forces Training Center off Rudy Chase Drive will serve as a training and armory facility for 700 armed forces personnel from 16 Navy Reserve units, one Marine unit and two Army units. The center will also serve as a recruitment and family support services facility.

At Thursday's ceremony, Capt. John E. Cole, commander of the Navy Reserve Region Mid-Atlantic Component Command, said the new center serves as an upgrade in real estate.

In addition to the large main building, a 4,400-square-foot maintenance facility will also be constructed.

The red brick facility features a 30-foot entranceway and houses a dozen classrooms and other rooms for physical fitness, military training and storage.

The site also features parking for 420 vehicles, landscaping, walkways, and an extension of an existing roadway.

The facility replaces the Albany Reserve Training Center, which had been in operation since 1956. It also replaces armories in Glens Falls and Schenectady.

About 180 Marines from Fox Company out of Albany will train for guard duties at the center.

About 191 New York Army National Guard members from the 501st Explosive Ordnance Battalion and Company E of the 427th Brigade Support Battalion, currently stationed at the Washington Avenue Armory, and 200 Navy members will also be trained at the new facility.

Additionally, the center will house 40 full-time administrative and support staff.

Navy Commander Lisa Schweinfurth will serve as a liaison for deployed Naval Reservists. She said 60 area Seabees, members of the Navy's engineering arm, will be deployed within the month for training in Mississippi. It will be her job to maintain contact with the Seabees families.

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