LAS VEGAS -- Soldiers with the Nevada Army Guard have been struggling with overcrowding for years.
They've been scraping for space, working out of a cramped, dusty facility in Henderson.
Nevada Army Guard Spec. Michael Streight has a big job -- making sure every vehicle is safe before going out on the road.
"We're the first line of defense in making sure they don't get hurt," Streight said.
But it hasn't been easy.
Streight has been working out of the hot, 50-year-old armory in Henderson. Now, he's got a little more room to move around.
"It's just nice to see a nice, big new facility versus where we're at," Streight said. "It's all dusty and hot."
The armory is quadruple the size of their last one, making it the second largest in Nevada.
"We'll be able to increase our capacity from the current employment that we have probably three- or four-fold," Nevada National Guard Lt. Col. Clayton Chappell said.
The opening helps curb a big overcrowding issue facing the Nevada Guard.
"They're sharing facilities that are busting out at the seams for armory space," Nevada National Guard Adj. Gen. Bill Burks said.
The new building also has locked storage for sensitive material as well as a gym with top-of-the-line equipment.
"They're getting tested and trained and you have to meet criteria in order to maintain," Chappell said. "Now, they can actually do it here."
Perhaps most importantly, the armory is helping Streight and others better do their jobs.
"It's a huge responsibility," Streight said. "These are our brothers-in-arms. We gotta take care of them."
Nevada National Guard leaders are petitioning lawmakers in Carson City to open more armory facilities in southern Nevada. The new building provides extra space, but they say it's still not enough.
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