- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Army National Guard is proposing to close eight armories as part of a restructuring plan that will go before Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

The plan calls for shutting down the armories, also known as readiness centers, in Berryville, Blytheville, Brinkley, Crossett, Helena-West Helena, Rector, Walnut Ridge and Wynne, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1FXXJgr ) reported. The move would decrease the number of armories in Arkansas from 62 to 54.

Spokesman Lt. Col. Joel Lynch for the Arkansas National Guard said no personnel would be laid off due to the closures and that the properties would be donated to cities in which they are located. The armories were selected based on their age and how many people can be recruited in those areas.

Closing the armories would save the organization around $306,000 annually in operating costs, and the plan is set to go before the governor on Thursday.

The state National Guard started developing the plan in 2011 after President Barack Obama signed the Budget Control Act, which calls for $487 billion in cuts in the Defense Department over 10 years.

If its plan is approved, the facilities would be shut down by the end of September, Lynch said.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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