Jul 28, 2014
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WATCH: Grand Opening of Cumming's New Readiness Center

Community members of all ages took part in the grand opening Saturday of the new Cumming Regional Readiness Center.



By  Captain William Carraway

Hundreds of members of Forsyth County welcomed the more than 300 Georgia Guardsmen of the 560th BFSB (Battlefield Surveillance Brigade) to the community at a ceremony marking the dedication of the Cumming Regional Readiness Center (CRRC) Saturday. 

More than five years in the making, the CRRC, located off Pilgrim Mill Road adjacent to the Cumming Aquatic Center, represents a cooperative effort between the Georgia Guard and the people of Georgia. 

“Your commitment to your service to our country is admirable,” said Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt during his opening ceremony address. “This is a great facility. The City of Cumming in conjunction with the State and Federal Government is very grateful that you are here.”

Watch video of equipment and vehicles on display.

Lieutenant Col. (P) Ray Bossert, commander of the 560th BFSB complimented the Mayor’s message of cooperation.

“I look forward to becoming a valuable asset and friend to this region,” said Bossert. “This is YOUR armory.  Come have fellowship with us.  Come see us during drill weekend.”

The readiness center was a flurry of activity starting well before sunrise as soldiers and vendors set up displays in the chill morning air. Soldiers of the 3-108th Cavalry demonstrated sniper equipment and vehicle weapons systems. The 230th Brigade Support Company set up a mobile kitchen and distributed MREs and conversation with Cumming residents. Soldiers of HHC 560th BFSB demonstrated satellite equipment capabilities. A particularly popular attraction was the “night vision challenge” where young and old alike were able to use night vision goggles to negotiate obstacles in a dark room. Representatives from local law enforcement, fire departments, and the American Legion brought displays and equipment and added to the sense of community present at the CRRC.

Several dedication ceremonies were held throughout the day. Lieutenant Col. (P) Bossert joined Mayor Gravitt and the Cumming City Council in dedicating the drill hall in the name of Colonel William Cumming, a life-long Georgia resident and veteran of the War of 1812. The readiness center auditorium was dedicated to the memory of Brig. Gen. Terrell Reddick, former deputy commander of the Georgia Army National Guard. The 560th BFSB’s Command Sgt. Major Roy Marchert presided over roll call of fallen warriors and dedicated a tree to fallen warriors.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, representatives of the Georgia Guard leadership and community leaders noted the significance of the day.

“What an incredible day,” said Georgia’s Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth. “The 560th has an incredible history of service around the world.  It is going to continue from right here. You have literally the best Guard community coming here building a house in Cumming.” 

State Senator Jack Murphy noted the economic benefit of having such a large Guard presence in North Georgia.

“When I look around and see what this will do for the community I am truly impressed,” said Senator Murphy. “It is going to bring in thousands of dollars to the community. The State committed six million dollars and that contribution survived two presidents and two governors.  That is amazing.”

Senator Murphy, Maj. Gen. Butterworth and Mayor Gravitt all noted that the new 106,000 square foot facility is projected to return more than $500,000 in revenue to the city and county annually. 


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