When Congress gave President Trump the first and only veto override of his administration, in passing the National Defense Authorization Act, a huge sigh of relief was felt by the folks down in Umatilla, because on January 1, 2021 the Oregon Military Department received approval to construct a $15,735,000 barracks building at the Camp Umatilla National Guard Training Center, formerly Umatilla Army Chemical Depot, near Hermiston, Oregon.

Photo by Spc. Michael Germundson/Oregon Army National Guard

This new 26,000 square foot barracks building is in addition to $11,280,000 for two additional barrack buildings also under design for the National Guard.  It is planned that all of these projects will be bid out for construction this summer with completion in the summer/fall of 2022.  The federal funding for these projects will also include needed infrastructure and supporting facilities necessary for the Oregon National Guard to conduct its training and mission.

“This is a great training space now and with these improvements Camp Umatilla will become a premiere military training facility for both our service members and the local community in the future,” said, Mr. Stan Hutchison, Director of Installations for the Oregon Military Department.

These projects will enhance the Oregon National Guard’s ability to provide billeting for soldiers while they conduct training at the National Guard Training Center and increases their bed capacity by approximately 448 beds against their 200-bed requirement. This is also in addition to last year’s renovation, which included code compliance, of an approximately 149 bed barracks building constructed dating back to the 1940s.  These efforts are all steps in addressing the lack of adequate billeting required for Soldiers that must travel from all communities within the State to Camp Umatilla in order to effectively conduct their training.

National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs

The new barracks will be designed as two story energy-efficient buildings and will be designed to meet all local, State, and Federal building codes and includes all utility services, information systems, fire detection and alarm systems, roads, storm drainage, and site improvements.  The facilities will be designed for a minimum life of 50-years and in accordance with Unified Facilities Criteria for High Performance and Sustainable Building Requirements and National Guard Performance Specifications.

National Guard Bureau has also notified the Oregon Military Department that they have been approved to receive an additional $6,000,000 in new barracks construction next fiscal year, which will enhance the capability of the Regional Training Institute.

The federal funding for these projects is part of the planning and programming cycle that occurs annually within the Department of Defense and National Guard Bureau. The new barracks projects adds to the list of some 20 active projects that are either in design or construction totaling more than $68 million on the National Guard Training Site and the Navy’s Boardman Bombing Range.

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These projects will also include a new schoolhouse and classrooms for the Guard’s Regional Training Institute, a new National Guard unmanned aerial vehicle operations facility on the Boardman Bombing Range, and infrastructure improvements on Camp Umatilla such as centralized biomass (wood pellets) heating, a new waste water treatment facility, water well and valve refurbishment and replacement, a new water distribution system, electrical line realignment, new fiber service, perimeter fencing, reroofing, residing, and new windows of many 1940 era buildings, and demolition of more than one-hundred 1940 era outdated structures and unsafe buildings.

The Oregon Military Department has received great support from the Governor’s office and the Oregon Legislature in providing the federal limitation and ability to receive the funding from the Department of Defense and National Guard Bureau for these development projects.

Special thanks to Stephan Bomar, Director of Public Affairs for the Oregon Military Department for the information detailed in this piece.

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