Kingsley Guard Center Dedicated

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, September 25 2012 at 4:14 PM, Updated: Tue, September 25 2012 at 4:25 PM

One of the biggest construction projects in Klamath Falls over the past year is now complete...and that project could reflect a bright future for Kingsley Field.

Dedication of the six million dollar Joint Armed Forces Reserve Center was fittingly punctuated Tuesday morning by the sound of F-15's.

173rd Fighter Wing Commander Colonel Jeffrey Silver notes that plans for development began over a decade ago, to replace an aging security forces facility...

"If you saw the old building that they were in, it was really in a sorry state of disrepair."

Construction began about a year ago, and the building is now open for business.

"This investment means a lot."  Stated Representative Greg Walden.  "Not only to better help train our troops, but also in terms of the federal government's commitment to this facility."

The base commander cautions that doesn't make the base immune from 'B.R.A.C.', or 'Base Realignment And Closure' decisions...

"But for the time being, I feel very secure and very confident."  Said Colonel Silver.  "That if they poured money into our base, that they intend to keep us around."

Army and Air Guard troops now share storage, training, and office space.

Colonel Silver says plans call for a second phase of construction for a second building...

"The neat thing about that is it's to house an Army National Guard unit, that will be an armory - and so this will truly be a joint center."

The timing of that construction will hinge on congressional funding.

While no dates have been set for the start of the second phase of construction, previous estimates have targeted a timetable of around 2016.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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