Armed Forces Reserve Center opening delayed until fall

The 100,000-square-foot Armed Forces Reserve Center at 136th Street NE in north Marysville isn’t expected to start hosting Army Reserve and National Guard drills until at least September. - Kirk Boxleitner
The 100,000-square-foot Armed Forces Reserve Center at 136th Street NE in north Marysville isn’t expected to start hosting Army Reserve and National Guard drills until at least September.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The 100,000-square-foot facility being built just south of the Navy Support Complex in north Marysville won’t be completed by its projected date this month.

The $33 million Armed Forces Reserve Center at 136th Street NE has been designed to support six Reserve units and three National Guard commands, including more than 250 soldiers from the Army Reserve’s 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, headquartered at Fort Lawton in Seattle, and approximately 300 traditional National Guardsmen currently stationed at the Everett National Guard Armory.

Army National Guard Capt. Steve Hobbs explained that an unseasonably wet spring, even by Washington state standards, delayed construction to the point that he now anticipates that Reservists and National Guardsmen will begin using the Marysville facility in September.

“There’s an 80 to 90 percent likelihood of that,” Hobbs said. “The National Guard will probably train there the first weekend of the month.”

Hobbs elaborated that the National Guardsmen and Reservists would train at the facility on different weekends, for one weekend each of every month. He noted that these drills would be staggered to limit the inconvenience to the Navy Support Complex and the surrounding residential neighborhoods, and added that the National Guardsmen and Reservists could use the Navy Support Complex’s parking, since most of its services are closed on weekends.

“We’ve spoken with the police chiefs about how not to be a hindrance,” Hobbs said.

Army Reserve Capt. Christopher Larsen, public affairs officer for the 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, likewise touted the economic benefits of the Army center, which is  expected not only to create as many as 200 military and civilian jobs, but also to allow personnel to patronize local businesses during the weekends that they come to the area to drill.

In the meantime, the Reservists of the 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command will be ordered to active duty July 28 for overseas deployment, to support the drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq and to manage logistics operations throughout the Middle East. According to Larsen, they’ll undergo post-mobilization training at Fort Bliss, Texas, before heading overseas sometime this fall.

This will be the command’s first deployment since its activation in September of 2009. Its current home at Fort Lawton has been on the Defense Department’s closure list for roughly five years. The Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 has likewise prompted the Washington Military Department to seek alternatives to the aging and cost-inefficient Everett Armory for the two Washington National Guard units stationed in Everett.

“We’ve been stationed in Everett since 1928, and they were good to us, but we hope to be part of the Marysville community for even longer,” Hobbs told the Marysville City Council on July 11.


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