The new Letterkenny Army Reserve Center in Chambersburg offers state-of-the-art training facilities and saves billions of dollars by consolidating three obsolete centers into one, U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster said Wednesday.
During the reserve center’s grand opening ceremony and open house, Shuster, R-Pa., applauded Letterkenny Army Depot’s use of consolidation to save money.
“This is a consolidation of three different reserve units (Chambersburg, Gettysburg and Greencastle) and will save the taxpayers money and that’s extremely important that we do that,” Shuster said.
“We need to be looking across the government, if it’s the military or education, we need to figure out ways to consolidate — to save money to be able to do more with less.”
James L. Snyder, assistant chief of theU.S. ArmyReserve, said the three reserve centers were built in the early 1960s and had not had any major renovations.
“We are trying to get people out of old, obsolete facilities and into state-of-the-art places like this so they can better support the army mission and do the nation’s business. And they deserve that level of support,” Snyder said.
The three reserve centers were to be closed when units relocated to the new center.
Letterkenny Army Depot Commander Cheri A. Provancha said the new facility is a “cooperative effort between an active army installation and the army reserve working to reduce our budgetary requirements while serving the Department of Defense mission more efficiently and more effectively.”
She echoed Shuster’s comments about savings through consolidation.
“This initiative provides the synergy and commonality of needs of services that makes the previous land and buildings available for sale back to the community and eliminates the need for contracted maintenance services,” Provancha said.
The influx of soldiers on the base is a positive thing, Provancha said.
“It gives our civilians that are building things the opportunity to see the very folks who are using the equipment we build,” she said.
“For the local community, soldiers need to be fed, need to be housed and supplied, which infuses money into our local community,” Provancha said. “So, this is a win-win effort not just for the Department of Defense, but for Franklin County as well, and we are very happy to be a part of that.”
Construction on the $11.4 million reserve center was completed in October, 2010.
The 53,956-square-foot center includes training, maintenance and storage space and parking.
The 300-member training facility has administrative areas, classrooms, a library, a learning center, an assembly hall, a kitchen and storage and physical fitness areas.
Shuster said the reserve center adds to the muscle of Letterkenny.
“As we move forward into the future we continue to make Letterkenny stronger — it’s mission stronger to make sure Letterkenny is going to be here for a long, long time and continue to contribute to the strength of our military and the strength of this nation,” Shuster said.