The Tennessee Army National Guard’s Color Guard Unit opened the ceremony, which was presided over by James Fenton, executive director of Gallatin’s economic development agency.

More than 150 people were on hand for the occasion, including guests from the firearm industry, hunting and conservation organizations and the National Rifle Association.

Tennessee political leaders including Governor Haslam, Senator Lamar Alexander, Congresswoman Diane Black, Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty and Gallatin Mayor Jo Ann Graves addressed the crowd.

Beretta spoke from the podium, giving his personal thanks to the Governor, to the Governor’s team and to Gallatin public officials.

“You have welcomed us in a very meaningful way and I want to thank you for that and I want to thank you in advance for the welcome you will give our employees, too, said Beretta.

Beretta’s Chief Operation Officer and General Manager, Jeff Cooper, spoke of the opportunities afforded by Beretta U.S.A.’s decision to move its entire manufacturing and engineering capability to Gallatin.

“This is where we will now perform some of our most critical work for our military, law enforcement and civilian customers, both in the United States and throughout the world, said Cooper.

Beretta U.S.A.’s extensive search for the location for the new facility included specific site searches of 80 locations in seven states. According to Cooper, Tennessee and Gallatin in particular provided not only the requisite infrastructure but also aspects of community support that would be important to Beretta U.S.A.’s business future and to the company’s employees.

The Gallatin campus and manufacturing facility will be completed in phases over the next five years with Phase One expected to be complete in mid-2015. The Tennessee facility will involve approximately $45 million in investment in building and equipment and employment of around 300 people.