Military and elected officials will break ground at 10 a.m. Saturday on a $10.5 million Navy Operational Support Center on the grounds of Moon Township's 911th Air Reserve Station.
The center will include space for administration, recruiting, instruction, a drill hall, exercise and fitness, and medical examinations. It is scheduled to open in February 2014, according to U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St.Clair and will replace the current NOSC facility in North Versailles.
Murphy said about 300 Navy personnel will be assigned to the base once it is completed.
"We are very excited to have this in our region," he told Patch in a telephone interview. "It is a huge benefit to our region for multiple reasons. It provides easy access to training for reservists; it provides an economic benefit as reservists live and work in the area; and it ensures the long-term viability and strength of the 911th."
The support center will provide integrated training that the military seeks, making the 911th a valuable military asset, according to Murphy. The integrated training is similar to what is required in actual combat, he said.
Murphy, a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve, said he now attends drills at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD where he works with patients affected by post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain disorders. When the center at the 911th is completed, he said he'll be able to train there, too.
Vice Admiral Robin Braun, chief of the Navy Reserve and commander of the Navy Reserve Force, will also be present at Saturday's groundbreaking. Murphy said he believes Braun will become one of the greatest advocates for the 911th inside the Pentagon.
Earlier this year, members of Moon Township's military community marked the groundbreaking of a new military commissary at the intersection of University Boulevard and Interstate 376 Business Route. It is expected to open next fall.
Murphy also said in a statement that he is working with the Army Air Force Exchange Service to build a new, larger post exchange and barber shop adjacent to the commissary.
The 911th Airlift Wing was targeted for closure by the Air Force earlier this year as a part of a series of Defense Department budget cuts.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta later issued a directive to delay the planned 2012 closure by one year. Congress also approve a provision as a part of its 2013 defense budget that would halt all planned military base closures temporarily.