Palm Coast - Palm Coast welcomes the Florida National Guard to the Flagler Palm Coast Readiness Center, located at 100 Executive Airport Drive.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, Oct. 16 for the new $21.7 million facility for the Florida National Guard's 1st of the 265th Air Defense Artillery Battalion.

The new readiness center will reduce annual lease costs and provide a permanent location for the assembly, training and maintenance of assigned personnel and equipment. The 72,876 square-foot Readiness Center, 7,634 square-foot maintenance building and 1,533 square foot storage building replace a 24,000 square-foot facility the unit previously occupied in downtown Daytona Beach from 1983 to 2015 that was built in 1964, along with two temporary trailers located in Deland.

This center allows 260 soldiers in the Headquarters Battery and Batteries C and D to drill together, increasing readiness and efficiency. In addition to the troops coming in for weekend trainings, the facility will have an additional full-time staff - providing a positive contribution to the local economy.

Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland and Flagler County Commissioner David Sullivan cut the ribbon at the event along with U.S. Rep Michael Waltz and Sen. Tom Wright to mark the opening. Also in attendance were the Adjutant General of Florida, Maj. Gen. James Eifert; Ret. Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw, Palm Coast City council members, Flagler County commissioners, and other distinguished guests.

"This community is proud and honored to have this magnificent, state-of-the-art facility known as the Flagler Palm Coast Readiness Center. This building truly is a prime example of the strong commitment to sustainability through innovation, energy efficiencies, environmentally conscious design, and so much more," said Mayor Milissa Holland, in a speech at Friday's event. "We are proud to know that many of those troops responding to future events will have been trained at this facility in our community." 

For more information about the Florida National Guard, visit [].