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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesVING Marks Opening of Regional Training Institute

VING Marks Opening of Regional Training Institute

210th RTI Commandant Dennis Dickie discusses a classroom's technological capabilties to attendees inclding Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen (second from right).With their new headquarters under construction next door, the Virgin Islands National Guard celebrated the official dedication of the $20 million, 210th Regional Training Institute.

Celebrated for its state-of-the-art, technological prowess and an environmentally friendly design, the 42,556-square-foot facility has the capacity to house 38 students and feed 150. Some of the building’s highlights are 14 single rooms, 12 double rooms, three classrooms, one multi-purpose classroom, a gymnasium, a library and a distance learning center.

According to VING Commandant of the 210th RTI Dennis Dickie, the modern facility allows the VING to expand its course offerings to include military occupational specialist qualification, non-commissioned officer education, pre-officer candidate school and warrant officer school training. Dickie also expects soldiers from outside the territory to want to come and train there.

Government officials from across the territory were on hand for Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and to tour the facility. One could almost feel the pride and satisfaction that comes with a successfully accomplished mission.

“We finally got a building we can call our own,” said VING Major General Renaldo Rivera, urging people to smile and take in the moment. “The RTI is the VING educational institution dedicated to providing quality instruction and training for both military and nonmilitary organizations within our region.”

Rivera said the building, which was in the works for 10 years and under construction for 2-1/2 years, was the result of “persistence, hard work and dedication” and was a “symbol of the greatest commitment to our community and people.”

He added, “The Virgin Islands National Guard is on the move and getting better. Our premise is if you build it, they will come.”

When Sen. Samuel Sanes took to the podium to speak on behalf of the 30th legislature, he spoke of an organization that means a great deal to the territory.

“The National Guard is more than just a military organization,” Sanes said. “It’s a part of our heritage, it’s a part of our culture, it’s a part of the Virgin Islands’ tradition.”

“It’s really special to see the VING get to this point”, said Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army Virdin Brown. “It’s coming of age. You crawl, now you’re walking with a good rate and a strong pace. Pretty soon you’ll be running.”

Brown continued, speaking of a soldier’s call to duty.

“You have to be ready. And readiness means being properly trained. And training means having all that it takes at your disposal to help make you the best soldier that you can possibly be,” Brown said. “This facility will offer the best that can be offered to you.”

Brown said given the budget constraints and current state of affairs inside the Pentagon, if the project had been launched now the funding wouldn’t have been there.

When retired Guardsman Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis spoke at the ceremony’s conclusion, he said having your own facility is one of the greatest assets one can have in the military. He also said the VING was navigating the tough economic climate of the federal government well.

“We have the RTI, we have the headquarters buildings, and we have some other projects coming on board,” Francis said. “That means the leadership of the National Guard is doing something right, to get all these federal dollars.”

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