- Associated Press - Monday, April 18, 2016

CORUNNA, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Army National Guard’s 144th Military Police Company based in Corunna will bid its host community farewell as it prepares to move to Nebraska as part of a government shuffle.

The Argus-Press (https://bit.ly/1MDcjy4 ) reports that on May 7, 150 company members, nicknamed “Blackhats,” will march along the McCurdy Park Trail with their rucksacks to the town’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, where they will compete in a series of physical contests. Military vehicles, including a Humvee and an Armored Security Vehicle will be on display for public viewing.

Sfc. Billy Adrian says the event is not only a public goodbye, it is also “a public show of our discipline, training and strength.”

In recent years, the Blackhats have supported Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, protected Michigan’s borders with Canada, provided airport security after 9/11, assisted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and supported combat troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom. From 2013 to 2014, the 144th provided combat support in Afghanistan.

According to company commander Cpt. Sara So, Michigan is giving up the 144th and a cavalry battalion in exchange for an infantry battalion from Nebraska. The move reflects the shifting military needs of the two states’ National Guards.

Taking the 144th’s place will be the 46th Military Police Company from Cheboygan. Many soldiers from the 144th will transfer to the 46th, Adrian said.

“I hate to see the unit number go, but I’m pleased to see it isn’t deactivating, only moving,” said Corunna City Manager Joseph Sawyer, commander of the 144th in the early 1990s. “The history stays and the people stay. We’ll have a new unit number, and who knows? The Blackhats could come back some day. It’s a great unit; I was proud to be in it.”

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Information from: The Argus-Press, https://www.argus-press.com

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