Missouri getting 2 new Army National Guard battalions

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Army National Guard is getting two new battalions that should increase its total force by almost 900 soldiers.

The National Guard said Monday that a new 810-soldier infantry battalion will be headquartered in Kansas City, with regional rifle companies located in Boonville, Carrollton, St. Louis and Perryville.

A combat support company will be in Monett and Anderson, and a forward support company for the new infantry battalion will be based in Jefferson City.

The Missouri Army National Guard also will be getting a new 77-person medical battalion headquarters in Jefferson City. It will oversee two existing medical support companies based in Kansas City and Springfield that currently report to the 70th Troop Command in St. Louis.

The two new battalions will bring the total size of the Missouri Army National Guard up to about 9,500 soldiers, a 10 percent increase.

Guard spokeswoman Capt. Tamara Spicer said the Army is seeking to fill most of the new positions with new recruits, though existing National Guard members do have the option to transfer to the new battalions.

Missouri has not had a National Guard infantry unit since 1974.

"This new infantry battalion opens up an entirely new skill set to the future citizen-soldiers of Missouri," said Maj. Gen. King Sidwell, the state adjutant general.

The additional battalions also will result in some restationing of existing units.

When all the transfers are complete, the largest increase in soldiers will occur at the St. Louis Kingshighway Armory, which will rise by 221 positions, and the Jefferson City Blue Armory, which will increase by 204 positions. Other armories will see changes of a few dozen positions.

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