South Dakota Nat'l. Guard closing De Smet armory as part of reorganization

The South Dakota National Guard is closing its armory in De Smet and relocating several other units as part of a statewide reorganization plan.

A press release from the National Guard's Public Affairs Office released Monday says the changes are being made to optimize readiness and capabilities to respond to state and federal missions.

As part of the reorganization, the SDARNG will deactivate three units, activate three new units, relocate six units to existing National Guard communities, and close its armory in De Smet. The majority of the changes are expected to be completed by September 2020.

Officials say the force structure changes include the deactivation of three units: 139th Brigade Support Battalion based in Brookings; Company A, 139th BSB in Watertown; and Company B, 139th BSB in Mitchell. Replacing these units will be the activation of the 109th Engineer Battalion and a Forward Support Company to be based in Rapid City, and the 665th Surface Maintenance Company in Mitchell.

The De Smet-based Detachment 1, 211th Engineer Company, will relocate and consolidate with its company headquarters in Madison.

"It is with genuine sadness that we will be relocating from De Smet - a community that has supported the National Guard in a truly outstanding manner for decades," said Maj. Gen. Tim Reisch, adjutant general of the SDNG. "We will continue to maintain our ties to De Smet through recruiting and support of community events, and there will be no change in our ability to respond to their needs should an emergency occur."

Scheduled unit relocations will take place for the following units:

* 152nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion from Pierre to Brookings
* 115th Signal Company from Brookings to Sioux Falls
* 155th Engineer Company from Rapid City to Wagner
* Detachment 1, 155th Engineer Company from Wagner to Parkston
* Detachment 1, 153rd Forward Support Company from Parkston to Huron
* Detachment 1, 211th Engineer Company from De Smet to Madison