Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert

New Armory in Malta to be complete by next Dec.


A rendering of the Malta Readiness Center (the new Armory) currently being constructed at 509 S. 10th Ave. E. south of the Phillips County Hospital and Family Clinic. The center is includes 33,000 square feet of space in the main building and 35,000 square feet of support buildings.

A new 32,921 square foot Readiness Center is being constructed at the end of 10th Avenue East in Malta, south of the Phillips County Hospital and Family Clinic, with an anticipated completion date set for December of 2020 after the project was started last May.

The Montana National Guard 484th Military Police Company is located in Malta with detachments in Glasgow and Billings, according to Capt. Dan Bushnell, Chief Public Affairs for the Montana National Guard. Capt. Bushnell said the authorized strength of the 484th Company is 163 personnel.

"Presently, only 40‐50 company personnel drill in this location during a training weekend; expansion will allow us to have both the Malta and Glasgow's units train together, improving readiness," Capt. Bushnell said. "The new Readiness Center will meet modern building code requirements with adequate troop training spaces to support the mission of the unit. The existing Malta Readiness Center is nearly 55 years old and is one of the oldest buildings in the Montana National Guard inventory."

The existing armory located on Highway 191 south of Malta was built in May 1965 and once the move to the new location is complete, the old building will be sold in accordance with State of Montana law.

MNA Architects - with offices in Bozeman and Helena, Mont., - did the mock-up renderings of the Readiness Center and described the facility as having "traditional spaces associated with training of soldiers and the daily operations of the unit are also incorporated in the design. The project will also include the construction of smaller support buildings, anti-terrorism force protection and improvements to the site."

Capt. Bushnell said the building layout includes modern office areas, classrooms, an assembly hall, simulation training room, locker rooms and storage areas, a full kitchen and a gym. Included in the facility design are antiterrorism force protection (ATFP) measures, energy management control system (EMCS), and modern building information systems. The design of the facility followed the principles of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) with a Silver rating requirement.

"Supporting facilities for the site will include access roads, parking areas, walkways, stormwater control, an emergency backup generator, utilities and landscaping," he said.

Currently, 40‐50 soldiers train in Malta during monthly drill weekends, according to Capt. Bushnell. When the new building is completed it is anticipated that an average of 90 Soldiers will be training in Malta and up to 160 when consolidated training is conducted with the Billings detachment.

There are currently four full‐time personnel in the Malta armory. When the new Readiness Center is completed there will be five full‐time personnel," Capt. Bushnell said. "The full-time personnel include a Non‐commissioned Officer (NCO), Supply NCO, Military Funeral Honors NCO, and Recruiting NCO. When the new Readiness Center is completed one more full-time Training NCO will work in the building."

The current Malta Armory is named George R. Hoynes Armory and Capt. Bushnell said they have not selected a name for the new Malta Readiness Center.


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