By: Cole Miller
The Nebraska National Guard Joint Force Headquarters building officially opened its doors Tuesday, bringing many state agencies together with safety as a top priority.
With the sun striking the huge glass panels, local, state, and federal leaders gather in front of the all–new Nebraska National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, near the airport. Cutting the ribbon as one, Governor Dave Heineman says the building was long overdue.
"We've needed this facility for a long period of time. Our old facility goes back to the Cold War," Heineman said.
Under one roof, the Nebraska National Guard, Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and Nebraska State Patrol headquarters come together.
"It just makes a more collaborative environment and our response is quickened," Major General Judd Lyons said.
In all, roughly 350 employees will work out of the new $28 million building.
In the middle of the 140,000 square foot building is a room, where, if the need were to arise, teams from across the state can assemble to work during times of emergencies.
While it looks a little like something out of Hollywood, this is all business. And it was Senator Ben Nelson who played a big role in securing federal funding for the new facility.
"I'm still a Nebraskan and I'm glad that we've increased our capacity for safety and security in the state as a Nebraskan," Nelson said. "As a Senator, you always feel proud that you were able to work with so many people and get something done."
Some of the military and political leaders on hand were also excited about the building helping to recruit young men and women considering careers with the National Guard. Governor Heineman joked saying he was considering moving his office out there, too.