GreencastleArmory safe from cuts

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Greencastle National Guard Armory will remain open despite news this week that others in the state are closing, an official said Wednesday.

Deedra Thombleson, public information officer for the Guard's Joint Forces Headquarters, told the BannerGraphic that she has not received any information to suggest that the Greencastle post is being considered for closing.

"As far as I know, at this point, that location is staying in our inventory of armories," Thombleson said.

The same could not be said for eight other armories in the state, including two in nearby cities.

The Spencer armory and the Terre Haute armory are both on the list to close in the next 18 months, according to an announcement made by the National Guard earlier this week. Other Indiana locations set for closing are Attica, Boswell, Darlington, Kempton, Portland and Michigan City.

Officials estimate annual savings of between $50,000 and $100,000 for each of the armories that is shutting down.

Thombleson said there are two main reasons for the closings.

She said National Guard officials have decided to move several units, or groups of soldiers, to other locations in the state because they were duplicating what units at other armories were already doing, as was the case in Attica and Darlington.

Each armory has a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), or task that soldiers perform. Examples include security, logistics and, as is the case in Greencastle, field artillery.

"There are hundreds," Thombleson said.

The other reason for the closings, Thombleson said, is low recruitment, such at the Terre Haute armory.

She said National Guard officials have been planning the closings for about a year and that Indiana is not alone in the process.

"Every state is going through this transformation," she said.

The Greencastle National Guard post, under the direction of Sgt. Robert Lamb, currently has 63 active duty personnel from several communities in the area.

Of those, 17 are currently serving duty in Iraq, Thombleson said.

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