The Armory of the Future

Article excerpt

A partnership project among the state of Vermont, the federal government and Norwich University is resuiting in what is considered a prototype National Guard armory on the university's grounds at Northfield, Vt. It will serve as a regional technology center for more than 30,000 Guard soldiers within a 250-mile radius and for four major Army Reserve units and two active duty Army posts within that area. It will provide collective training opportunities using state-ofthe-art simulation and distributive learning technology, while also serving as the center for the Vermont National Guard's information operations unit that trains active and reserve soldiers from across the country. It will also be the readiness center and headquarters for the 86th Armored Brigade, the major Vermont Army National Guard unit.

Norwich cadets also will have the opportunity to train at the center, exposing them to the opportunities and high technology available to them in the active Army and the reserve components, and the center-especially the information operations unit-will be able to leverage the technical and educational expertise of the university. Homeland security and law enforcement agencies also will use some of the training systems.

The cornerstone was laid in 2001, and the center will be fully completed in 2003, but the brigade headquarters is expected to start moving in this month or next. The simulations suites will be phased in during the first and second quarters of the new fiscal year.

The three-story, 88,000-square-foot facility is expected to serve as a model for future high-technology National Guard armories. …