The South Carolina National Guard will celebrate the opening of its new Army Aviation Support Facility in Greenville Wednesday.
The 110,000-square-foot administration and maintenance hangar facility at the South Carolina Aviation and Technology Center (SC-TAC) will house CH-47D/F Chinook and UH-72A Lakota helicopters.
Greenville Technical College will train and certify Army National Guard helicopter maintainers as Federal Aviation Administration Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) technicians, with plans for the center to be a major regional training location for the Army and Air Force National Guard.
The facility’s commander, Lt. Colonel Charles Lewis, told South Carolina Radio Network that in the next 10 to 15 years, the complex will grow larger to have units come in to train on domestic operations similar to the guard’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
“The Greenville aviation facility will form the basis of a regional, future Army aviation training site. This is truly a big deal for South Carolina – not just the aviation family.” said Maj. Gen. Lester Eisner, Deputy Adjutant General of South Carolina.
Senator Lindsey Graham played up the economic benefits of the site being in the Upstate.
“We need to celebrate this as if it had been a major achievement by the county council to bring a new business in,” Graham said at the ribbon-cutting.
Lewis said he is bringing 76 fulltime employees to the Greenville area, plus 250 guardsmen who will report for training one weekend a month.
There are about 11,000 soldiers and airmen in the South Carolina National Guard.