National Guard adding UAS training facility at Fort Polk

The Louisiana Army National Guard will add another training facility to its arsenal.

Ratcliff Construction Company of Alexandria recently was awarded a contract by the National Guard to build a new Tactical Unmanned Aerial System Facility at Fort Polk.

1st Lt. Jeremy Futrell with the 769th Engineer Battalion 927th Sappers said construction of the facility began Aug. 10. It is expected to be completed by the end of July.

“The bid date for the facility was June 29, 2011,” Futrell said. “The cost to construct the facility is approximately $4,200,000. The new facility is 6,000 square feet. We will be able to train soldiers on unmanned aircraft using the new facility.”

Ratcliff has also constructed other projects for the Guard, including a Readiness Facility, Army Aviation Support Facility and Camp Beauregard’s Consolidated Maintenance Facility.

In a news release, Robert T. Ratcliff Jr., president of Ratcliff Construction Company, said, “This project is an important part of the training and operational mission for the LANG.

“It is a fine example of the large, complex military construction projects that our team of professional constructors has been privileged to build.”

Futrell said URS Corp. of Baton Rouge provided plans and specifications for the facility.

“We will detach a military unit out of Esler Field to the facility when it’s completed,” Futrell said.

http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20111111/NEWS01/111110315