171st Partners with Lincoln Police Dept. to Build Training Facility

Coraopolis, PA-- --
Pennsylvania Air National Guardsmen with the 171st Air Refueling Wing Civil Engineer Squadron recently deployed to Lincoln, Nebraska, to continue construction work on the Lincoln Police Department's new Law Enforcement Training Center.  The project, part of the Innovative Readiness Training program, provided 171 CES members training while addressing public and civil-society needs.

During their two-week stay in Lincoln, members specializing in electrical systems, HVAC, pavements and heavy equipment, structures and engineering were able to complete a variety of tasks needed to continue their training.

The job site, located on 80 acres of land leased from the Lincoln Airport Authority, will include four shooting ranges, an observation tower, a K-9 training area and classrooms, all designed to optimize law enforcement training for the Lincoln Police Department, with the majority of construction work done by military personnel.

Tasks given to the 171 CES to complete included building an observation tower, installing wiring for lighting and target systems, building a protective wall for the target mechanisms, and pouring concrete for sidewalks. Members were also responsible for excavating a hillside and building a berm to complete the third range at the site.

"It's wonderful for guys to see the product of their hard work versus just going out and digging a hole and filling it in or building a wall and tearing it apart," said Master Sgt. Mitch Sisco, project manager at the job site and member of the 138th Fighter Wing.

Sergeant Ryan Dale, an officer with the LPD and liaison to the Air National Guard teams at the site, agreed that the military-civilian partnership offered through this IRT project was an extreme benefit to the department and the people of Lincoln.

"We have a budget and we want to stick to that budget or ideally come in below the budget," Sgt. Dale said. "By having them provide the labor, not only are they getting the training benefit from it, but it's allowing our dollars to go a lot farther and accomplish things we otherwise wouldn't be able to accomplish."

The facility is expected to be open for use this October.