LAS VEGAS — Featuring wafting smoke, incense and ceremonial feathers, a Native American land blessing highlighted the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Cometa Complex Field Maintenance Shop here on July 25.
Eric Lee and Chris Spotted Eagle of Las Vegas Paiutes peformed the ceremony.
The new 40, 213 square-foot field maintenance shop will provide direct support to 12 Nevada Army Guard units and provides the space to accommodate 40 vehicle repairs at one time. The facility will replace the aging Army Guard maintenance shop in Henderson.
The entire complex here, which includes the field maintenance shop and the Las Vegas Readiness Center, is named after Spc. Anthony Cometa. Cometa was a Nevada Army Guard Soldier who died in Iraq in 2005 while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom with the 1864th Transportation Company. Cometa graduated from Silverado High in Las Vegas in 2002 and enlisted in the Nevada Army Guard in 2003.
Nevada Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Bill Burks said the completion of the shop marked another milestone in the Nevada Army Guard’s goal of increasing its amount of maintenance, training and sttorage space in southern Nevada.
“This is a great accomplishment for the Guard,” Burks said. “The new center will alleviate some of the space shortfall the Army Guard is experiencing in the Las Vegas Valley. We are still 350,000 square feet short of space in relation to the amount required for the number of soldiers in the state.”
Lt. Col. Clayton Chappell, the Nevada Guard’s construction and facilities manager, said the completed shop was a welcome sight to southern Nevada’s Army Guard units.
“This is the first shop of its kind built in 16 years and this facility is the second largest in the state,” Chappell said. “Each project takes about 10 years from conception to completion.”
The total cost of the readiness center was about $25 million, with $23 million in appropriations from the federal military construction program and about $2 million from the state construction program.
The completion of the shop marked the 10th major construction project completed by the Nevada Army Guard since 1995.