National Guard to close Hazen Armory
After 36 years in the Hazen Armory the North Dakota National Guard will leave the city for one final time.
Officials announced Thursday the decision to close the Hazen and Cavalier facilities by December.
“Those are the two smallest armories in terms of number of soldiers, Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk
Many states are moving toward regional armories, he said. More than 70 percent of North Dakota’s Guard members live within 10 miles of the state’s 10 largest cities.
Hazen has 26 Guardsmen in the troop known as Detachment 1 of the 818th Engineer Company (Sapper). Sixteen members are part of the 134th Quartermaster Detachment in Cavalier. None are from the two cities.
Sprynczynatyk was surprised that there were no soldiers from the towns where the armories were located, adding Cavalier once had 65 members, all from that town.
“We’ve seen a change in the demographics, he said. We are seeing that change significantly across the state.
Hazen’s soldiers will more than likely be relocated to Minot while Cavalier’s will transfer to Grand Forks, Sprynczynatyk said. Some may also be transferred to other units depending on skill sets and location.
“This decision did not come quickly or easily, but challenging times require difficult decisions,” he said. “We are facing a future of uncertainties, both in North Dakota and around the United States, due to new national strategies regarding the size and composition of our military force.”
Reducing the country’s presence in Afghanistan and the sequestration also played a role in the decision, the adjutant general added. Hazen has no full-time staff at the facility, a 7,660 square-foot building rented from the city of Hazen for $8,600 a year.
City officials discussed several options during it regular meeting Monday at Hazen City Hall. The city could rent, sell or use it for other governmental operations. The commissioners did not make a decision.