Boone National Guard to be Deactivated; 1451st Transportation Company to Operate out of Morganton

Published Monday, July 30, 2018 at 4:14 pm

By Nathan Ham

As part of a state-wide effort to close older National Guard Armory locations and combine smaller locations into bigger, newer regional buildings, the Boone National Guard Armory will be deactivated by 2021.

The armory in Boone had been home to the 1451st Transportation Company. The company will now be stationed out of Morganton where a newer, centralized “readiness center” is expected to be completed by 2021.

“The land in Morganton is big enough to house more than one unit, as a state we are moving away from the armory model and more toward regional readiness centers,” said Maj. Matthew Boyle of the North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs office.

Boone’s National Guard Armory has been in the same location on Hunting Hills Lane for 44 years.

Age and condition of the building could have certainly played a role in this decision as a report released by the National Guard in 2016 indicated that over two-third of the armories across the United States were in poor or failing conditions and recommended closing 600 of the armories then. The same report indicated that armories were built to last 55 years and while the armory in Boone will not quite make it to that number, many armories across the country are at least that old and do require a lot of maintenance and upkeep.

In addition to the aging infrastructure of many of the armories across the state and the country as a whole, the decision to start using more modernized facilities with bigger areas came as a need for the extra space with larger equipment and more space needed for more equipment.

“Those armories were built for the equipment of that time. The equipment has grown. We can’t park all of our vehicles there, we can’t pull our vehicles in to repair them,” Boyle said.

Boyle says that the property will be given back to the town of Boone and Watauga County to determine what they will do with the area.

The Morganton hub will take two to three years to complete, but once it is completed, it will have the capability to not only house larger and higher numbers of equipment, but to also provide better training opportunities for those in the National Guard.

Boyle added that while the Boone armory will be closing down, the N.C. National Guard will still be a part of the community.

“Communities are always going to be important to us. We’re still going to have a presence in Boone. If there are winter storms or flooding, we’re still going to provide the same services,” said Boyle.

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