RAPID CITY, S.D. (KSFY) The South Dakota National Guard is undergoing some changes. This will begin next year in 2019 and the guard says these changes will improve response times when they are called into duty.
The South Dakota National Guard completed a statewide study looking at their readiness and what they found now has them working to realign their forces across the state. These changes will help the National Guard respond to state and federal missions. Under this plan, the South Dakota National Guard will change its operating structure beginning next year.
"This is going to optimize our organizational readiness and capabilities to be able to respond to state and federal missions,” said Anthony Deiss, who is the director of public affairs with the South Dakota National Guard. “These changes that are coming down, they're a part of U.S. Army total force initiatives and this is kind of just evolutionary response to an ever-changing operational environment."
The guard said these changes will maximize resources, training and facilities. The bottom line to all of this is maximizing operational readiness for guard units.
"Some of these changes that we're going to see, they're going to be the deactivation of three units across the state," Deiss said. "But we'll also be gaining three new units, and we're going to be relocating six units from current national guard communities to other national guard communities"
Moving units from one community to another will help improve recruiting and hopefully ensure future growth.
"With these changes that are coming, we're going to see an increase in 85 total positions in our force structure, and so that's great for our organization because it's going to allow more positions, more opportunities for people to serve," Deiss said.
These new changes are going to allow the South Dakota National Guard to have coverage for all of their state mission requirements.
With these force structure and stationing changes, most of them will be completed by September of 2020.