National Guard debuts new Camp Chamberlain

The Maine National Guard hosted a ribbon-cutting on June 3 to officially open its newly completed Camp Chamberlain, at 23 Blue Star Ave.

Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Farnham, adjutant general for the Maine National Guard, Gov. Paul LePage, representatives from Maine’s congressional delegation and community members attended the ceremony.

The joint forces headquarters is home to about 190 full-time soldiers and airmen from the Maine Air and Army National Guard. This number increases to more than 220 service members during a drill weekend.

The $34 million state-of-the-art facility features a 100,000-square-foot headquarters, located on nearly 43 acres of land. It provides ample office, classroom and collaboration space for the full-time and traditional National Guard service members, as well as an auditorium, multipurpose classroom space, operations center, multiple conference rooms, kitchen and dining area, maintenance bay, gym, showers and locker room. Its historical artifacts will be displayed throughout the building.

Army National Guard names command sergeant major

Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Farnham, adjutant general for the Maine National Guard, announced that Command Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Smith has been appointed as the new state command sergeant major for the Maine Army National Guard.

“Command Sgt. Maj. Smith has demonstrated 32 years of steadfast leadership in service to the Maine Army National Guard,” Farnham said. “He is the right person to lead our enlisted formation as Maine’s top enlisted soldier.”

The state command sergeant major is the senior enlisted adviser to the adjutant general and represents the NCO corps, influencing policy and serving as a role model, standard-bearer and voice for enlisted personnel.

Smith enlisted in the Maine Army National Guard as a carpenter and mason specialist in 1985. He has served in multiple units throughout the state, with his most recent assignments as the command sergeant major for the 286th Combat Service and Support Battalion, 120th Regional Support Group operations sergeant major and the operations sergeant major for the deputy chief of staff for operations.

Smith is a graduate of the Army’s Command Sergeants Major Academy. He is a combat veteran, having deployed to Afghanistan with the 240th Engineer Group in 2006-07 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“I am humbled that I have been selected for this position and excited and ready to serve all of the enlisted men and women of Maine as the 14th State Command Sergeant Major of our great state,” Smith said. “I look forward to improving the readiness of the Maine National Guard to ensure we are prepared for any mission.”

Smith’s awards and decorations include a Bronze Star, two meritorious service medals, five Army commendation medals, five Army achievement medals, the NATO medal and numerous other awards.

Smith replaces Command Sgt. Maj. Scott M. Doyon, who retires after 27 years of service.