- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Army National Guard announced Wednesday that it will close four armories as it cuts the size of its force, and more could be closing in the future.

The guard said it is closing readiness centers in Grenada, Mendenhall, Lumberton and Nettleton. It currently leases the armories from those city governments and will hand them back by Oct. 23.

Lt. Col. Christian Patterson says the move will save the guard $130,000, mostly in maintenance and utility costs.

The guard will have 79 armories after the closing. No deadline for other closings has been set.

Patterson says full-time workers stationed at armories are being reassigned, as are part-time guard members who normally report there for their service. Guard officials say fewer units will be dispersed, allowing for better training.

Guard officials said in a statement that they chose armories for closure based on plans to cut the number of soldiers, their distance from larger population centers, the age of the buildings, and how much money the guard has to work with.

The guard will have 79 armories after the closings.

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