GREENVILLE, Miss.–If you have business at the National Guard recruiting center in your town, you may soon be going somewhere else to conduct that business. It was announced Tuesday that the Guard will be relocating its storefront facilities to nearby bases or other facilities.
The plans could include recruiting offices in Hattiesburg, Greenville, D’Iberville, Gulfport, Olive Branch, Columbus, Southaven, Tupelo and Flowood.
“We want to make sure the public understands when they enter a National Guard facility now, that there will be additional scrutiny of anyone coming and going, and of course individuals at those entrances will be armed,” said Gov. Phil Bryant, who serves as commander-in-chief of Mississippi’s National Guard.
He said the purpose is not to frighten anyone who might have legitimate business there.
“If someone thinks they would come and do harm to one of our military personnel, they better be prepared to take some fire down range.”
Bryant said Tuesday on the JT Show on Super Talk Mississippi that he believes the motive was clear from the beginning in the Chattanooga shootings last week, and that he is being proactive in securing Mississippi’s National Guard facilities.
“The White House, unfortunately, doesn’t admit these terrorist attacks occur in the United States. It seems as if the news media has gone overboard to say ‘we don’t know what the motive is’. I’ll tell you what the motive is. It’s radical Islamic terrorists. We’re not going to let that happen, if we can prevent it, in the State of Mississippi.”
Bryant said that as commander-in-chief, he can order a review of National Guard security procedures.
“I’d like to know what our weaknesses are, where our strengths lie.”
Bryant’s executive order Monday authorized National Guard personnel to be armed at the discretion of Adjutant Gen. Augustus Collins.