By Maj. Debbie Magaldi
VIRGINIA BEACH , Va. -- The 203d Red Horse Squadron (RHS) conducted a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on April 1, officially opening a new Troop Training Quarters facility located at the State Military Reservation (SMR) in Virginia Beach. Lt. Col. Paul Julian, 203d RHS commander, began the event welcoming the local and state dignitaries and the construction contractors in attendance.
Julian spoke of the years of planning, and the committed effort by a number of people to get the approval and funding, needed to make the new facility a reality. He recalled the November 2004 groundbreaking ceremony, and gesturing toward the front door of the new building, announced that reservations were being taken for the May drill weekend. He also recognized the efforts of several individuals who were key in the construction project including Master Sgt. James Cunningham, 192d Fighter Wing Contracting Superintendent; Susan Quinn, construction contract administrator; Jerry Ruff, construction superintendent; Chief Master Sgt. Wayne Locklear, 203d RHS CE Manager, and Maj. Steven Phillips, 203d BCE.
After Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Tom Kirles, 192d Fighter Wing, completed the invocation, Julian invited Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf, TESORO Corporation President Dennis Gilbert and Col. Jeff Allen, the Virginia National Guard’s U.S. Property and Fiscal Officer, to join him in the ribbon cutting.
Armed with large gold-tone scissors, they easily dispatched the heavy red ribbon stretched between the colonnades at the building’s main entrance. Following the ribbon cutting, the guests and Red Horse members toured the facility.
The 16,000-square-foot building, designed by ARC Design Group provides about 1,100 square foot of classroom space and 34 billeting rooms. The billeting rooms include 16 singles, 16 doubles and two VIP rooms. The facility also includes a day room with an adjoining kitchenette, a computer training room and a physical training room. The design of the new facility compliments the other 203d facilities located on the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach.
The project cost about $2.5 million in Congressional funding for this project. The new facility will be used to conduct training; and it will be used by out-of-town HORSEMEN for billeting purposes.