The deadly shooting of five servicemen in Chattanooga, Tennessee has led Governor Phil Bryant to issue an executive order giving the Mississippi National Guard authority to increase security at all its facilities. Last week, Mohammed Abdulazeez sprayed gunfire from his car into a Tennessee military recruiting center then went to a Navy operations support center, where he killed the men. Mississippi National Guard Assistant Adjutant Brigadier General Roy Robinson says they've temporarily closed their ten storefront recruiting offices.
"In the near term, we went ahead and took those soldiers and airmen who had been working in those storefronts and we moved them to an armory or a hard facility," said Robinson.
Robinson says they will reopen with selected armed personnel and other visible security to discourage threats. The National Guard has a presence in 72 Mississippi counties, which includes 89 armories, three airbases and its headquarters. Robinson says some facilities are already under heightened security. Now more steps will be taken to protect other potential targets.
"We've come up with a plan that we are now implementing to raise the threat levels at all of the training installations, both Air Guard and Army Guard throughout the state and also to posture our soldiers in a better defensive posture," said Robinson.
Lieutenant Colonel Christian Patterson, a spokesperson with the guard, believes they are prepared for any risks.
"We are used to this. We have deployed over the past 10 years plus, more than 20,000 of our guardsmen for mobilizations overseas and then also duty state side," said Patterson.
The governor's order is only for the Mississippi National Guard.