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Groundbreaking marks milestone for the 103rd Airlift Wing, the 103rd AOG and the CTANG

Mr. Scott Pearsall, Lt. Col. Aaron Lehman, commander, 609th Detachment, Col. Peter J. DePatie, commander, 103rd AOG, Brig. Gen. Daniel Peabody, Assist Adjutant for Air, Mr. Joe Courtney, U.S. Representative of the 2nd Congressional District, Maj. Gen. Thad Martin, The Adjutant General, Maj. Robert Feher, and Master Sgt. Heather Kirkham take part in the AOG’s ceremonial groundbreaking  Aug. 5, 2010, on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

Mr. Scott Pearsall, Lt. Col. Aaron Lehman, commander, 609th Detachment, Col. Peter J. DePatie, commander, 103rd Air and Space Operations Group, Brig. Gen. Daniel Peabody, Assist Adjutant General for Connecticut-- Air, Mr. Joe Courtney, U.S. Representative of the 2nd Congressional District, Maj. Gen. Thad Martin, The Adjutant General for the state of Connecticut, Maj. Robert Feher, and Master Sgt. Heather Kirkham take part in the AOG’s ceremonial groundbreaking Aug. 5, 2010, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erin McNamara)

BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, East Granby, Conn. -- Another milestone along the road to transformation was achieved during a ceremony on base Aug. 5, 2010, commemorating the start of construction on a nearly $7 million project for the Connecticut Air National Guard's 103rd Air and Space Operations Group and their command and control facilities. 

"In recent months we have celebrated numerous projects all over Connecticut that will benefit the men and women who serve their state - and our nation - in uniform," Governor M. Jodi Rell said in a press release Wednesday. "These citizen-soldiers deserve the absolute finest facilities that we can provide and I am proud of these improvements. Equally important, many of these new, federally supported construction projects are getting under way at a time when the jobs and economic growth they will bring are needed most. This is good news not just for our National Guard and Reserve but for all the people of our state."

The plan includes a 3,400 square foot expansion that will add space to the group's future 19,400 square foot Air and Space Operations building which will house a state-of-the-art command and control operations floor, along with office, conference and training areas. Additionally, the unit will have a 25,600 square foot facility earmarked for administrative offices, training rooms, and secure communications capabilities.

"Thanks to the support of Connecticut's congressional delegation and Governor Rell in the post-BRAC 2005 environment, these state of the art command and control training facilities will soon be reality. This groundbreaking event goes a long way in showing the state and federal governments' commitment to recapitalizing their investment in the Connecticut Air National Guard," said Maj. Gen. Thaddeus J. Martin, the adjutant general for the state of Connecticut and the commander of the Connecticut National Guard.

"The bottom line is this; with each project start, we move closer to fulfilling our responsibility of providing the Connecticut Air National Guard with the best possible training, equipment and facilities necessary to ensure mission accomplishment within our own state borders," Martin said.

The renovated AOG operations facility will be the new home of the unit's tailored 'Falconer' equipment suite that will enable the unit to achieve and maintain its initial operational capability in spring of 2011. In the mean time, the equipment is installed and used within a secure temporary facility on the far end of base.

"I'm very proud of our Airmen and the accomplishments they have achieved as we stand up this new mission for our state and nation," said Col. Peter J. DePatie, commander, 103rd Air and Space Operations Group. "As we literally build this new capability from the ground up, I see a bright future ahead of us, thanks to their hard work and to the support of our state leadership."