The Iowa National Guard is planning to make changes at facilities in four Iowa cities. Guard spokesman, Colonel Greg Hapgood, says it’s part of what they call a force restructure.
“Which is kind of the structure of the organization and the types of units that we have and where those units are arrayed. We’ve recently been notified by the Department of Defense of a few changes here. And those changes will affect the communities of Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Fairfield and Clinton,” Hapgood says.
He says the changes are a result of nationwide restructuring of the Army National Guard. “The net result for us as an organization is about the same number of soldiers that we have — maybe just a little bit of an increase,” Hapgood says. “We will see in the City of Fairfield that we will have 60 less part-time soldiers or traditional guardmembers in Fairfield. But we believe that that could be somewhat of a temporary adjust and could be changed in the future as additional restructuring changes come down.”
A new supply unit of 95 soldiers is planned in Fairfield and some of the soldiers in the current units will be moved to Cedar Rapids. “In this particular case what we’re offering up to our soldiers in Fairfield is that they can stay in Fairfield with the unit that’s coming in there, or they can move with the unit parts that are going to Cedar Rapids. Or at the worst case, they can go and reclassify or learn a new skill and go to different unit in the Iowa National Guard,” Hapgood explains.
Hapgood says the new supply unit in Fairfield is expected to offer some different positions that are expected to interest soldiers. Some of the soldiers in Clinton are also going to move. “All of those soldiers who are currently in Clinton now in Detachment One, Company A, First Battalion, 133rd Infantry, all of those soldiers will move to Dubuque,” Hapgood says.
Hapgood says they have some time for soldiers to look at their options and plan. He says they are starting to do some preliminary work right now and that will continue through 2016, with the changes expected to be fully implemented by October fo 2017.
The Army National Guard in Washington, D.C. expects to move from a force of 350,200 soldiers to 342,000 nationwide by September 2016 and then to 335,000 by September 2017.