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Indiana National Guard receives multi-million dollar makeover

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Monday was a special day at the Indiana National Guard Headquarters. The guard cut a ribbon to celebrate a nearly $40 million makeover.

The headquarters is located west of downtown at 2002 South Hold Road.

The celebration was about more than just the building, however. It marked a new beginning and end; the beginning of operations at a newly expanded facility and the end of a career for a general, after more than 4 decades of service.

During a ribbon cutting ceremony, people filled the auditorium at the new Indiana National Guard Headquarters.

“The Indiana National Guard is the fourth largest of all. We’re the sixth when you add army and air,” said Adjutant General Martin Umbarger.

By moving operations like recruiting and personnel to the Holt Road location, the guard is able to end 3 leases. The state expects to save $450,000 annually. Governor Mike Pence spoke at the event.

“This building, facility is going to create a real environment that’s going to save tax payers money and create even greater efficiency for the best National Guard in the country,” said Pence.

Officials led a tour to show off the $36.8 million project, which was 100% federally funded. The renovation added 80,000 square feet and remodeled 76,000 square feet. The building now houses joint operations, which is where responsibilities are delegated in the event of a disaster-like a flood or tornado.

“To be able to see this happen before General Umbarger’s retirement is a fitting tribute to his 11 years of extraordinary service to the people of Indiana,” said Pence.

Adjutant General Martin Umbarger enlisted in the guard in 1969. Over 45 years he’s moved up in rank. For the past 11 years, General Umbarger has been in charge of almost 16,000 personnel.

“Governor Kernan asked me to be his Adjutant General. Governor Daniels asked me to remain on and Governor Pence has. It’s been a true honor and privilege,” said Umbarger.

A privilege he’ll pass on to a new general, in a new building.

With the renovated headquarters, more than 900 civilian and military personnel have been consolidated under one roof.