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Guard plans new facility on Fort Carson in bid to escape $400,000 lease

April 12, 2017 Updated: April 13, 2017 at 11:43 am
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photo - The main entrance to Fort Carson Sunday, January 17, 2016. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
The main entrance to Fort Carson Sunday, January 17, 2016. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

The Colorado National Guard is constructing a new 45,000 square-foot headquarters on Fort Carson so a space battalion can escape its $400,000 lease on a building off Powers Boulevard.

The Guard's 117th Space Battalion hopes to break ground on the project later this year, environmental impact documents released Wednesday show. The unit is now one of several Army space outfits leasing buildings at Fountain and Powers Boulevard, an expensive practice that the Army has long sought to curtail.

"More than 140 full- and part-time Colorado Army National Guard members will work at the 45,000-square-foot facility," The Guard said in a news release. "Operational activities at the readiness center will include the administration, training, and logistical support of the Headquarters Company of the 117th Space Battalion, the 217th Space Company, and the 1158th Space Company, which currently lease space in Colorado Springs."

The Guard space unit is part of Army Space and Missile Defense Command and offers up teams that head overseas to help get a better view of the battlefield with satellite imagery.

"Colorado National Guard space capabilities continue to modernize and require an expanded, cost-effective footprint," new Colorado Guard boss Maj. Gen. Michael Loh said in a statement. "The new readiness center will better support these units while they defend the homeland and support the war-fight."

The Guard unit could be the first of several Army space units to head for Fort Carson, in a move that's been discussed for years.

As far back as 2005, the Army planned to move its entire 1st Space Brigade to the post, filing a series of environmental plans before the deal died due to lack of construction cash.

In documents supporting that failed effort, the Army complained that it was paying $1 million in annual rent for leased spaces.

Another candidate for a move could be the Guard's 100th Missile Defense Brigade, which also has its headquarters in rented building off Powers Boulevard.

For information on the environmental report backing the battalion's move, visit http://bit.ly/2p9Ocgn.

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Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240

Twitter: @xroederx

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