Thousands of troops will be trained at new Decatur megasite - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Thousands of troops will be trained at new Decatur megasite

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

A new National Guard training center is coming to Alabama. Once it opens, thousands of troops will be trained at the megasite. It will be on the property where a center for developmentally disabled closed ten years ago.

Three years ago, when senator Arthur Orr went to the site with then gubernatorial candidate Robert Bentley, the Lurleen B. Wallace complex was overrun with weeds. There were 160 acres not being used.

Thursday, they helped celebrate a new beginning for the property, and the future new Alabama National Guard training center.

Senator Orr led a push to get $10-million in federal money to pay for the training center. Thursday, the deed was turned over from the State Department of Mental Health to the National Guard.

"It's going to help our National Guard, and we have been trying to develop the mega sites around the state, and this is a perfect place for it," said Bentley.

The megasite will not only provide training for Alabama National Guard troops, but also for units from other states.

"Regardless of what kind of disaster that might come along, whether it be natural or manmade, the National Guard is prepared to respond and to mitigate what come along," said Gen. Perry Smith "We're going to have that kind of training here."

If everything goes according to plan, the training center will be completely operational by the end of 2017.

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