The Wisconsin Army National Guard’s Detachment 1, 229th Engineer Company will move from Platteville, Wisconsin, to a vacant armory in Richland Center, Wisconsin, this fall.
The unit’s headquarters will remain in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, but the approximately 75 Soldiers serving in the Platteville detachment will relocate to Richland Center.
After a thorough analysis, Wisconsin National Guard leaders determined that the current Platteville Armory is no longer sufficient to meet the demands of the present-day force and its dual-mission as Wisconsin’s first military responder and the Army’s primary combat reserve. The Wisconsin Army National Guard’s primary objective is ensuring that our Soldiers and Airmen are ready to serve the people of Wisconsin in times of civil emergency and overseas in times of war.
The Richland Center Armory is a newer building with enclosed military vehicle storage, better layout for classrooms and offices as well as larger and better female restroom and shower facilities. The drill floor at the Richland Center Armory is also better designed to allow vehicles to be brought onto the drill floor for easier loading and unloading.
Moving to Richland Center provides a temporary solution while the organization seeks a more long-term solution to its facility needs.
Built in the 1940s, the Platteville Armory’s drill floor is made of wood and has a basement underneath, so it cannot support the weight of modern military vehicles.
The Wisconsin National Guard views the city of Platteville as an enduring location, and the organization plans to once again have a presence in the city in the long term, according to Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general.
In the long term, the National Guard intends to construct a state-of-the-art readiness in Platteville when federal and state funds become available.
“We are very grateful for the support the city of Platteville and its residents have given our Soldiers over the years, and we hope to maintain a mutually beneficial partnership with the city,” Dunbar said. “We did not arrive at this decision lightly, because we recognize the close bond that a National Guard unit forms with the community in which it serves.”
The Wisconsin National Guard will maintain ownership of the Platteville Armory and will remain a good steward of the property by continuing to maintain it, provide security and ensure the building’s structural integrity.
A local National Guard recruiter will also continue to operate out of the facility.
“We recognize that the Platteville Armory is an important part of the community and many local organizations use the facility,” Dunbar said. “We hope to work with the community to allow that relationship to continue.”
The Wisconsin National Guard maintains facilities in more than 60 Wisconsin communities, and its Soldiers and Airmen hail from these same communities. The unit will complete its move to Richland Center in September.