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December 15, 2011 9:26 am

National Guard expanding use of Powell armory

Written by Don Amend

Cody and Lovell armories to remain active

Restructuring in the National Guard is bringing changes to Guard units in the Big Horn Basin.

The big change for Powell is the consolidation of the 920th Forward Support Company in the Powell armory. The Powell armory will house the operations of the 920th, and the facility was enlarged recently to accommodate the unit’s equipment.

The move coincides with the dissolving of Battery C of the 2-300th Field Artillery Battalion, a move that has been under way since 2007. The 2-300th has remained at the Worland Armory, but will be deactivated in June 2012. In its place, a detachment of the 920th will begin to move into the Worland Armory in April and will be the sole occupant of the armory when the 2-300th is gone.

The changes mean the 920th will be vacating the Cody armory at the beginning of 2012, and the Lovell armory by the end of April.

The guard will not abandon the Cody and Lovell armories, however, according to Col. Greg Porter, Wyoming Army National Guard chief of staff. The Lovell armory will be turned over to the National Guard Surface Maintenance Management, which maintains vehicles for the unit. Recruiting and Veterans Affairs will occupy the Cody armory, and other functions may be located there as well. The Wyoming Military Department currently is identifying full-time personnel to be located in Cody. In addition, the 920th will still use the two armories on some occasions.

“It is important to note that the Wyoming Military Department will maintain a full-time presence in Lovell and Cody, and the (920th) will still use the armories on selected drill weekends,” said LTC Samuel House, community relations officer for the Wyoming National Guard.

Approximately 70 soldiers will be assigned to Powell when the move is complete, and another 70 will be assigned to Worland. Currently, 70 are assigned to Lovell and 40 to Cody. Porter did not say how many will be assigned to the Cody and Lovell armories once the adjustment is complete, but he did say deactivating the 2-300th means a reduction in personnel for the Wyoming National Guard.

“The reduction of Battery C means we are losing about 100 slots,” Porter said. “We think we can host more Guard functions in Wyoming. We believe we have room for another unit.”

Porter indicated efforts to have another unit assigned to Wyoming are a factor in keeping the Cody and Lovell armories active.

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