Gov. Deval Patrick and Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray attended the grand opening of the Massachusetts National Guard Joint Force Headquarters at Hanscom Air Force Base Thursday, also the 376th birthday of the National Guard.
In a press release, Patrick said, with the addition of the National Guard Headquarters at Hanscom, the base continues to play an integral role in the local economy and as a job creator for the Commonwealth.
“The impressive new Joint Force Headquarters creates a permanent headquarters to better support the base’s dual military mission,"Patrick said. "Massachusetts military bases are vital to fueling our innovation-based economy and will continue to have this Administration’s support.”
Murray, who toured the facility in October, said in the press release the new headquarters will serve as a fresh start for the Massachusetts National Guard, as well as for Hanscom.
“As we celebrate the National Guard’s 376th birthday, we also celebrate a new beginning in the Commonwealth for the Massachusetts National Guard, Hanscom Air Force Base, and surrounding communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “This partnership will strengthen the Guard’s presence, our military security, and resources for our servicemen and women.”
The headquarters, which has been operational since Nov. 5, was built to be more sustainable and energy-efficient than the previous headquarters, which was located in Milford.
The opening of the headquarters follows a $500 billion cut in federal defense spending by the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as the request from the Pentagon for a Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) to close or consolidate military bases across the country.
Earlier this year, Murray announced the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, aimed at protecting the Commonwealth's military bases in the face of cuts in defense spending.
"Hanscom Base is a huge employer across the state, and it is important now more than ever to make sure we're doing everything we can to make sure we are protecting those who work and live here," Murray said in an interview Bedford Patch in October.
U.S. Rep. John Tierney, who represents Bedford, said in the release the new headquarters will strengthen the communities surrounding Hanscom.
“This new location strengthens Hanscom, our community, and our National Guard," Tierney said. "The men and women in the Massachusetts National Guard will now be even better suited to serve our state and country, with this strategic location, and the stellar support and infrastructure Hanscom Air Force Base offers.”