National Guard unit moves to Columbus airport

An Indiana National Guard unit responsible for packing, maintaining and repairing parachutes for airborne training and operations has formally moved to Columbus.

The Indiana National Guard’s Detachment 1, 165th Quartermaster Company’s move from Seymour to Columbus Municipal Airport was formalized with a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 4, according to a news release.

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop, Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr, the Indiana National Guard’s adjutant general, and airport officials and city council representatives attended the ceremony at the unit’s new home.

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Indiana is one of only four states in the Army National Guard with a unit capable of supporting rigging operations. The detachment has about 80 soldiers.

Moving the unit to Columbus just 14 miles from Camp Atterbury enhances the organization’s capabilities in supporting large scale, complex exercises.

“Locating this special unit within such close proximity to Camp Atterbury has powerful impacts for the community,” Carr said. “This is yet another way to attract units from all across the country to train here in the Columbus area.”

The added space provided at the hangar helps consolidate the storage capabilities for the unit, which in the past was housed at three different locations throughout the state.

Lienhoop welcomed the unit to the city citing the community’s appreciation for the military.

“We have a great deal of respect for the military,” said Lienhoop, also highlighting the city’s diverse strengths. “We are proud of our manufacturing industry and over 80 unique architectural sites, and now we get to say that we help people jump out of airplanes.”

The city and the Army are not the only beneficiaries of the move. The detachment will support the Air National Guard’s 113th Air Support Operations Squadron, part of the 181st Intelligence Wing located at Terre Haute.

After the ceremony, the detachment conducted a successful airborne jump from the Columbus airport onto drop zone Bowden at Camp Atterbury.