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    1457th Engineers will return to Nephi after almost three decades

    Utah National Guard holds groundbreaking ceremony for Nephi Readiness Center

    Photo By 1st Sgt. John Etheridge | Utah National Guard leadership joined community partners in a groundbreaking ceremony...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stowell 

    204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade

    Nephi, Utah—Nephi will soon be home to a Utah National Guard unit. Again.

    In the 1990s, a detachment of the 1457th Engineer Battalion called the Nephi Armory home. That unit’s colors were cased and the facility was closed in 1994.

    March 10, 2022, construction crews broke ground on a new facility a few miles north of the old armory. Leaders involved in the project turned over dirt ceremonially with golden shovels. Among those to participate were officers and senior noncommissioned officers of the 1457th and its parent unit, the 204th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

    “The entire team has worked diligently over the past few years to design a state-of-the-art readiness center that will stand as a source of pride for the Utah Army National Guard, Nephi City, Juab County, and the state of Utah,” said Brig. Gen. Tyler Smith, then-assistant adjutant general-Army, Utah National Guard.

    The new readiness center will be the home of the 1457th headquarters and forward support company.

    “With this facility, we can have a presence on the Wasatch Front, but far from the metropolitan area,” said Col. Woodrow Miner, commander of the MEB.

    Once called “armories,” the buildings of an earlier generation of the National Guard served a different need.

    “A lot of our National Guard armories were built back in the 50s,” said Smith. “They were built on very small parcels of land right in the middle of residential areas.”

    The old Nephi Armory, located at 68 North 100 East, near the town center, was built in the 1930s with Works Progress Administration funds, according to Jacob Barlow, a local historian.

    Smith added that National Guard equipment is bigger and there is more of it.

    “It's more important now for us to have our readiness centers outside of populated areas,” he said.

    The readiness center under construction will sit on 70 acres, compared to the two residential plots occupied by the old one.

    It will also be much more sophisticated.

    “With this location in Nephi, the 1457th will be in a good place to support domestic operations,” said Sgt. Major Jed Lundell, the operations sergeant major for the MEB. “They will be able to run command and control for our state-directed force packages,” Lundell said.

    Lundell is referring to the groups with capabilities that help with the civilian response to fires, floods, earthquakes, and similar disasters. The 1457th helps direct those military capabilities regularly.

    “We’ve always inherited facilities. This will be the first built-for-us readiness center as a brigade,” said Lundell.

    The new facility is also greener.

    “With these new buildings, we get more environmentally-friendly facilities. That helps us continue to be good stewards of our environment,” said Miner.

    Architectural Nexus, an architecture firm based in Salt Lake City, designed the 42,590 square-foot Nephi Readiness Center to serve as the administrative, classroom, training, and operations space for the 1457th.

    “It’s a great opportunity for us to come to Nephi. It puts another flagship building in an important community and helps us maintain our relationships in rural Utah,” said Miner.

    The headquarters element of the 1457th is scheduled to move in the fall of 2023.



    Date Taken: 03.21.2022
    Date Posted: 03.21.2022 15:45
    Story ID: 416869
    Location: NEPHI, UT, US

    Web Views: 194
    Downloads: 0