Rugby To Lose National Guard Unit
Five North Dakota towns, and a potential sixth, will lose National Guard units next year.
Due to changes in the Army’s force structure, units in Bottineau, Rugby, Grafton and Mott will no longer be a part of the National Guard after fiscal year 2017. Units in Carrington, and possibly Mayville, will be part of the National Guard, but will be relocated.
The units in the affected communities will hold their last drills in them in August 2017.
Adj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, of the N.D. National Guard, said that due to country’s strategic direction, the U.S. Army is getting “smaller”. By the end of fiscal year 2017, the National Guard’s total force will face a reduction from 350,200 to 335,000 personnel. Dohrmann said the N.D. National Guard is affected by the reduction and is in a position to lose up to seven units comprised of approximately 300 positions.
“This is an unfortunate situation and the decisions made surrounding it have not been taken lightly,” Dohrmann said.
Dohrmann said the National Guard is working to keep soldiers who are part of the affected units in the Guard.
“We do not want to lose a single Soldier from our ranks as a result of this loss,” Dohrmann said. “We have a position available today in other units for each and every Soldier. We will work diligently with each individual Soldier to find the best fit for them in another unit and in some cases with a new job specialty within the (N.D. National Guard).”
Dohrmann said the N.D. National Guard has an authorized end strength of 3,400, but membership currently sits at under 3,000. Force structure changes will put the authorized end strength at 3,080 members.
“If we can achieve that end strength, we will be at less of a risk of losing units should the Army National Guard downsize again,” Dohrmann said.
Dohrmann and three other officers met with Rugby mayor Arland Geiszler and District 14 Rep. Jon Nelson on March 2 to inform the city of the changes.
The National Guard units in Bottineau and Rugby are part of the 132nd Quartermaster Company, whose job is water purification. Both communities have had guard units in them since 1947.
“Although this is a difficult situation, the communities involved with the force structure changes have been extremely understanding,” Dohrmann said. “All of our communities, units, and Soldiers are very important to us and although we will not be able to keep a unit in the community, we wish to maintain in other ways our long standing relationship with Rugby as well as the other communities directly affected by the force structure changes.”
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