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DVIDS – News – 2 – The 263rd Air Defense Artillery Battalion holds an inauguration ceremony

Easley, SC – U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 263rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment (ADA BN), South Carolina Army National Guard, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of Battery B, Sept. 10, 2022, in Easley, South Carolina.

In attendance were U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, South Carolina State Senator Thomas Alexander, South Carolina State Rep. Neal Collins, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. R. Van McCarty, Adjutant General of the South Carolina National Guard, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Frank Rice, Commander, 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command

“This battalion has an incredible history and today we celebrate the renovation of their building and we take care of our soldiers,” began Senator Graham. “If we had done this [renovation] from scratch it would cost $25 million, but we did it for less than $4 million. I celebrate with you an establishment that needs a facelift.
Senator Graham, a long-time National Guard and Air Force Reserve officer, reflects on the history and mission of the National Guard and the importance of the 2-263rd ADA BN mission.

“The biggest change in my life has been all-volunteer strength. And I want you to understand that for 21 years, these service members have put their lives on the line. The Guard and Reserve have been deployed more in support of the Global War on Terror than at any time since World War II,” continued Graham. “Twenty-one years ago, do you remember where you were on 911? You could see the first tower smoking and then the second plane hitting the second tower. I knew then exactly what was happening. Your mission is to defend the National Capitol. I will come to visit you, General, since you are now in charge of this mission.

Graham concludes by praising the National Guard and the troops of the 2-263rd ADA BN.

“Of all the groups in America, there is no other group more for good than the men and women of the United States Army. You have done more to help others than any other group. You’ve risked your life for people you don’t know. You’ve gone to places no one even knew existed, to defend this nation,” Gram added in conclusion. “Now that we’re celebrating a facelift for this installation, let us recommit to America as Americans, to do what we need to do to defend our nation and appreciate each other a little more.”

South Carolina State Senator Thomas Alexander shared his thoughts on the South Carolina National Guard and its commitment to serving the community, the state, and the United States.

“The service you provide here at home in the State of South Carolina, the Mission in Washington and wherever it takes you in the world, on behalf of the people of South Carolina, we are grateful to you and for your service to your state and your country,” Alexander said. “I’ve heard the governor mention many times and I quote ‘there’s more patriotism per square inch in South Carolina than anywhere else in the world.’ Your service to communities and citizens demonstrates that this patriotism is alive and well here in Easley, Pickens County and the State of South Carolina.

A native of Easley, South Carolina State Rep. Neal Collins adds to the perspective of Easley’s prep center and its renovation.

“I was born two and a half miles from here, I’ve lived in Easley pretty much all my life, and this prep center is pretty much the center of my district and I can’t think of a better symbol or establishment as a District Five center,” adds Neal. “It is an honor to help the federal and state governments rehabilitate our facilities across the state. I have never feared for security, I have never been afraid of the enemy, I have never worried about the future, because I have confidence in the men and women who are part of our forces. armies.

Major General Van McCarty begins by discussing the partnership between federal and state organizations needed to renovate a readiness center.

“This [readiness center] serves as a focal point for the community, but its primary purpose is to be a projective platform of force, to train, prepare, and execute federal and state missions. This is what we do. says McCarty. “The money we get for the National Guard is mostly federal money, but the dollars we get from the state General Assembly are critical to revitalizing readiness centers. I can have the federal dollars, but I can’t do a project like this, so I have to have state dollars to match.

McCarty briefly discusses some of the improvements to the prep center.

“We have modernized the latrines for women. Our women in our ranks today provide tremendous service to our state and our nation and we could not do our job without this strength. McCarty adds. “You will also see improvements to the parking lot, car park area, improvements to the kitchen and improvements to Wi-Fi. A new supply room and a safe for our weapons, new windows, fans interiors and sound absorbing materials in the drill hall. A new loading block makes it a fresh install in all practical applications. »

McCarty concludes with praise for the troops of the South Carolina National Guard.

“We will have nearly 1,800 National Guard soldiers deployed this year to the National Capital Region, Europe, Kuwait and in support of operations in Iraq, Syria, the southern border with a contingency of approximately 300 soldiers during an exercise in Colombia, South America. . Your National Guard is extremely busy, extremely committed and producing outstanding results. McCarty informs. “It’s a good thing for the South Carolina National Guard, it’s a good thing for Easley, it’s a good thing for the soldiers who occupy this unit. For a facility built 52 years ago, and seeing her this morning as she is was amazing.”

Maj. Gen. Frank Rice shares ongoing missions with soldiers under his command.

“We have over 200 troops in DC right now, and they’re carrying out this mission honorably.” Rice boasts. “We have soldiers in Europe, with the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC), commanding and controlling the Patriots, Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) units and doing a great job. I want to thank the people at the facilities who made this possible and to thank the soldiers in this unit for the great job they are doing.

Lt. Col. David Ridgeway, deputy commander of the 678th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and former Bravo Battery commander, briefly praises all the effort that has gone into renovating the unit and the professionalism that Bravo Battery brings to the US Army’s air defense arsenal.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be here with you today to celebrate the successful renovation and modernization of Bravo Battery. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to plan, design, implement and to fund this project. Soldiers, NCOs and Officers of the 2nd Battalion, you have done an outstanding job, including 5 mobilizations in the Capital Region, a mobilization in Germany in 2018 and numerous state missions,” Ridgeway began “Your hard work reflects a great tradition that the Second Battalion has proven throughout its lineage that dates back to 1756. This modernization of the Readiness Center will continue to ensure that Bravo Batter has well-trained soldiers, organized combat formations effective warfare with modern facilities and enough task to win in any conflict on any battlefield all over the world.

Commanding Sgt. Maj. Davin Powell, 263rd AAMDC Command Sergeant Major and former Bravo Battery First Sergeant concludes the ceremony with memories of his time in the unit.

“It is an honor for me to speak on behalf of former, current and future Air Defenders of the Army National Guard. Major General McCarty, you probably have a special readiness center for you in the “Field artillery. Maj. Gen. Rice, Brig. Gen. Wholey, you probably got one for you at Signal. For me, it’s that readiness center. It was the first unit I was assigned to when I left active duty,” Powell continued. “It remained my duty station for the next 12 of 22 years. the skies of Washington DC and they are currently on their fifth rotation.

The ceremony ended with a benediction performed by Chaplain (Ltc.) Thompson and the singing of the Army Song.

Date taken: 09.12.2022
Date posted: 14.09.2022 08:59
Story ID: 429108

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