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Staff photos by Clay Schuldt Members of the New Ulm Chamber Welcome Committee tour the Minnesota National Guard’s new Field Maintenance Shop. The service bay is the largest section of the FMS, occupying 25,000 square feet. Below, Major Joe Sharkey and Mayor Terry Sveine cut the ribbon at the Minnesota National Guard’s new Field Maintenance Shop.


NEW ULM — The Minnesota National Guard’s new Field Maintenance Shop (FMS) held a special ribbon-cutting ceremony in New Ulm on Thursday.

The facility is 31,000 square feet with 25,000 square feet reserved for 10 maintenance bays, wash bays and storage. Another 6,400 square meters are used for classrooms and offices. The maintenance facility is intended to replace the former FMS at the southern end of New Ulm.

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“The new maintenance facility in New Ulm marks a point of recommitment for both the Minnesota National Guard and the City of New Ulm,” Army Lt. Col. Mark Gile, commander of the 1-125. Field Artillery Regiments. “This facility brings new skills and doubles the size of our current facility, creating jobs for our guard members from this city and region. From tracked to wheeled vehicles, the New Ulm Army Field Maintenance Shop will be responsible for supporting units across southwest Minnesota from Highway 169 West to South Dakota.”

After the ribbon was cut, members of the IHK Neu-Ulm Welcome Committee were able to tour the new premises with representatives from Donlar Construction. Project architect Andrew Coopers said the main purpose of the new FMS is to service vehicles, but it was built with people in mind. He said the overall design is relatively simple. The building is divided into office and maintenance areas.

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The FMS is the most modern maintenance workshop in the country. Floor heaters keep mechanics warm during winter repairs. A rainwater collection system can recycle water for use in cleaning vehicles. A solar system on the roof supplies the system with sufficient electricity on sunny days. A backup generator can power the facility in the event of an outage.

Completion of the FMS is the first phase of updates to the National Guard in New Ulm. The second phase will be the creation of a new National Guard Readiness Center adjacent to the FMS, which will add new capabilities to the New Ulm-based battalion. The new readiness center will replace the centuries-old, fortress-like New Ulm Armory on N. Broadway. The new readiness center is scheduled for completion in 2025.

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The creation of the new FMS and Readiness Center will allow a greater number of National Guard members to work in New Ulm. The FMS can support 31 National Guard positions at full capacity.

100 soldiers are currently on drill in the new armory in Ulm every month. With the completion of a new readiness center in 2025, the number could triple as other National Guard units move from Minnesota to New Ulm.



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