PHOTOS: Lt. Gov. Murray Tours New National Guard Headquarters at Hanscom
Following the tour, Lt. Gov. Murray commented on the work of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, which he launched in February.
Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray toured the new Massachusetts National Guard Joint Force Headquarters Tuesday at Hanscom Air Force Base.
Murray's tour of the base comes after he announced the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force earlier this year.
The task force is aimed to protect and promote the Commonwealth's military bases in the face of $500 billion in federal defense spending by the U.S. Department of Defense.
"Hanscom Base is a huge employer across the state, and it is important now more than ever to make sure we're doing everything we can to make sure we are protecting those who work and live here," Murray said.
The Pentagon has also requested a Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) to close or consolidate military bases across the country.
Murray said the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force will address these budget cuts to ensure that the Commonwealth's six military bases are protected.
"One way to address budget tightening is to improve the infrastructure and sustainability of military and economic development," Murray said. "I think this project is a good example of this kind of improvement."
The new Massachusetts National Guard Headquarters, which will be operational as of Nov. 5, was said to be built to be more sustainable and energy-efficient than the previous headquarters, which was locted in Milford.
Construction project manager Steven Wagner said it is exciting to provide the Massachusetts National Guard with a new headquarters.
"Constructing a new facility at Hanscom for our National Guard members is very exciting for me," Wagner said. "The fact that it is located at Hanscom just makes it more exciting."
The headquarters will house the Massachusett's National Guard Chief of Staff, Intelligence and Public Affairs divisions.
Murray said the endgame of the task force is to ensure the protection of the Commonwealth's military bases as well as the jobs of those who are employed on the bases, including 14,000 to 15,000 jobs with direct or indirect ties to Hanscom Air Force Base alone.
"We want to protect as many jobs as we can as well as protect the missions of each of the Commonwealth's six bases," Murray said.
Engaging in conversation with officials from the Pentagon and Capitol Hill will be crucial in protecting the Commonwealth's military bases as well as promoting the importance of the mission of each base, Murray said.
"This tour helps as we engage in these discussions with people down in Washington," Murray said. "We need to continue to be as proactive as we can in finding the right ways to protect our military bases."
Murray and other officials last toured Hanscom back in March, the second stop on the task force's tour of the state's bases. That visit also included a roundtable discussion at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a defense company located near the base in Lexington.