Gov. Hutchinson orders National Guard to relocate members to armories


    UPDATE (7/20 4 p.m.):

    Following his order Friday to Adjutant General Major General Mark Berry to arm full-time military personnel, Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued an executive order Monday to protect the Arkansas National Guard.

    The executive order directs Major General Berry to relocate Arkansas National Guard members from the state's storefront recruiting centers to the nearest armory. The temporary relocation is to make sure these recruiting centers are protected from drive-by shootings, which have previously happened in Arkansas.

    This order comes in the wake of the shootings last week at the Navy and Marine reserve center in Chattanooga, Tenn. that killed five servicemen, one of which had ties to Russellville.

    Click here to read the full executive order.

    ORIGINAL STORY (7/17):

    In the wake of the shootings Thursday at the Navy and Marine reserve center in Chattanooga, Tenn., Governor Asa Hutchinson has authorized Arkansas National Guard Adjutant General Mark Berry to arm full-time military personnel.

    In addition, the Governor has issued a proclamation ordering the state flag of Arkansas to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, July 20, 2015 as a mark of respect and as an expression of public sorrow for the four Marines killed, including Arkansas native Staff Sgt. David Wyatt of Russellville.

    Governor Hutchinson released the followings statement:

    "Our hearts break at the news of another senseless act of violence and terror, this time out of Chattanooga," Governor Hutchinson said. "Our prayers go out to all the families of the victims, especially the family of Staff Sgt. David Wyatt of Russellville, one of Arkansas's own.{}"I want to join in those who are calling for greater security at our recruiting stations and military installations. We've had numerous instances of attacks. Clearly they are a target, and for us to have unarmed military personnel makes no sense, which is why I am directing Major General Mark Berry to arm full-time personnel as he deems necessary at military installations."

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