A new $28 million Nebraska Military Department Joint Force Headquarters was officially opened today at the Lincoln Airport.
Nebraska Adjutant General Judd Lyons says the new, 140,000 square foot facility will house the National Guard, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and the Nebraska State Patrol dispatch center under one roof.
“Whereas before, the Army Guard and Air Guard headquarters were geographically separated, Nebraska Emergency Management Agency was geographically separated. Now, we’re all in the same building,” Lyons tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Literally, the state emergency operations center, the National Guard’s Joint Operations Center and the Nebraska State Patrol’s dispatch center are within steps of each other.”
United States Sen. Ben Nelson, Gov. Dave Heineman, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, state Sen. Jim Avery and Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler joined Lyons in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The efficient, environmentally-friendly building replaces one built in the 1960’s at the height of the Cold War. It also draws together agencies previously scattered throughout Lincoln.
That matters, according to Lyons, who says proximity does matter in responding to a military threat or an emergency, such as the recent wildfires in western and northern Nebraska.
“To have the command and control element here, aviation right across the street, State Patrol dispatch center, state emergency operations center, where all the state agencies come in during an emergency just makes us that much more responsive and helps us collaborate in a much quicker manner,” according to Lyons.