Mike Heine/The Week
(Published Dec. 3, 2007, 2:50 p.m.)
The Army National Guard is taking over it's own territory in Elkhorn.
Changes to National Guard units across the state are causing the Army to ramp up usage of the Elkhorn armory, said Jackie Guthrie, spokesperson for the Wisconsin National Guard.
That has left the Walworth County Composite Squadron of the U.S. Civil Air Patrol looking for a new headquarters.
"I'm not absolutely sure what all equipment and stuff they've got, but judging from the number of vehicles that are now in the lot of the armory, it's full," said Pam Thomas, cadet sponsor member and wife of the unit's commander, Maj. Robert H. Thomas. "There are Humvees, big trucks and tracked equipment in the building itself."
Army equipment started moving in this September, she said.
The Civil Air Patrol has had an office and storage space at the armory more than 20 years. It uses the open floor space for classroom training and drills.
The unit is looking for donated space to keep equipment and hold exercises. It must be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Pam Thomas said.
"We have a lot of equipment radios and all of our search equipment and emergency equipment that needs to be locked up," Pam Thomas said.
The Walworth County unit, with about 35 cadets and 15 adult leaders, is a certified ground team that aids with search-and-rescue operations. It is growing in size, Pam Thomas said.
It needs an office of at least 400 square feet and areas for training exercises, she said.
The unit meets every Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. and sometimes on weekends.
It does not have funding for rent, but donated space could possibly be a tax deduction as the Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit organization, Pam Thomas said.
The Army has not set a date when the Civil Air Patrol needs to be out of the armory. The unit would like to have a new home by the first of the year.
It has looked at space in the downtown Elkhorn Government Center but has yet to receive a response from the county, Pam Thomas said.
Guthrie said the Army is making changes across the country to solidify its National Guard preparedness and defense.
"The Army is continuing to transform to meet the needs of today's threats, whether that be in Wisconsin, around the world or around the U.S., manmade or natural," she said.
The Elkhorn Armory will be a satellite attachment to the Infantry Brigade Combat Team based in Janesville, Guthrie said.
Wisconsin's National Guard is known as the 32nd "Red Arrow" Brigade Combat Team and consists of about 3,500 soldiers in units throughout the state, Guthrie said.
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