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News | Nov. 2, 2020

Construction begins on new Army Mountain Warfare School facility

Vermont National Guard Public Affairs

The Vermont National Guard is scheduled to break ground on a new $27 million facility for the Army Mountain Warfare School at Ethan Allen Firing Range here Nov. 5.

The socially distanced ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m.

"In my many conversations with the secretary and the chief of staff of the Army, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, and the director of the Army National Guard, it was clear to me that replacing the facilities of the Army Mountain Warfare School would allow the Army to greatly expand and improve its capabilities,” said Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy. “As Appropriations Committee vice chairman, I was glad to be in a position to be able to ensure that it was funded when the Army told me that despite the need it had not been included in the budget submission. I'm proud of the opportunity ahead of us for Vermonters to expand our ability to teach Soldiers and other members of our Armed Services how to not only survive, but to master and make the most of difficult terrain and cold climates."

The 82,668-square-foot facility will include educational space, billeting for 174 personnel, and a dining facility. The new schoolhouse will also offer students a unique four-story indoor climbing wall and will use a geothermal ground source system to provide heating and cooling. Space for the installation of photovoltaic panels will also be incorporated.  Project completion is expected near April 2022.

“The Army Mountain Warfare School cadre are among the best and brightest in the field; this school is where students learn to become competent mountaineering professionals,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Knight, Vermont adjutant general. “This new facility is a testament to those Soldiers, and the thousands of graduates and cadre that have come through the school for nearly four decades.”

The Vermont National Guard has operated the only Army Mountain Warfare School in the country since 1983. They now instruct courses in basic, advanced, and specialty mountain warfare. They also provide additional mission specific training to United States and foreign military forces in a variety of countries.

“This new facility ensures the continuation of excellence in mountain warfare operations, and the lasting value this school brings to Vermont and the U.S. Army. Sincere thanks to Senator Leahy for his efforts in making this a reality,” said Knight.

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