The state of Mississippi will close four Army National Guard readiness centers in response to force structure reductions and budget cuts, officials said Wednesday.
The initiative, which will save the Mississippi National Guard $130,000 in annual maintenance and utility costs, will reduce the number of readiness centers across the state to 79. The armories will be returned to each of the four municipalities by Oct. 23, reported the Clarion-Ledger. Full-time workers at armories will be reassigned to nearby facilities.
Additional readiness centers also are being considered for return to their communities, according to the story.
The four readiness centers — located in Grenada, Mendenhall, Lumberton and Nettleton — were selected based on force structure reductions, proximity to larger population centers for recruiting, unit cohesion, facility age, and available state and federal funding over the past several years, according to the state.
“This plan allows for the Mississippi Army National Guard to strengthen our force and communities, and save precious financial resources at the same time,” Maj. Gen. Augustus Collins, adjutant general of the Mississippi National Guard, said in a written statement.
“The returns will help us to recruit in higher populated areas and improve cohesion by consolidating our force structure to better accommodate our smaller force,” Collins said.