Kentucky Army National Guard Restructuring Units

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A new restructuring plan by the Kentucky Army National Guard will allow better response to national emergencies.

Several units will be reconfigured over the next several years including the Louisville-based 149th Brigade combat team and detachments in Benton, Hopkinsville, and Bowling Green.

"Anytime the National Guard is more accessible to the local level, it's always a benefit," said Brian Lowry, with Bowling Green/Warren County Emergency Management.

BG/WC Emergency Management helps determine whether the National Guard needs to be called in for a situation.

"We call the National Guard in when our local resources are overwhelmed. If we have a large-scale disaster that exceeds the capabilities of the locals here, it runs two or three days or if just the magnitude requires that the National Guard come in," Lowry explained.

Lowry said they haven't needed assistance in Bowling Green, but other areas of the state have called the National Guard for help.

"Just a couple of years ago in Munfordville, during the tornado that swept through downtown, the National Guard came in to help provide security because the Sheriff's Department and local responders there were just overwhelmed," Lowry explained.

He said the new restructuring of the National Guard should be a positive move since it will allow units to provide more support during state and national emergencies.

"When we call them, we usually need them as quick as possible - so anything that the National Guard, at a state level, can do to restructure to assist the locals easier, it's a win-win for everyone," Lowry explained.

In addition to allowing units to provide more support in emergencies, the restructuring will also allow units to support combat brigades in the war.

The transformation of the units will begin later this year.

Units in Leitchfield, Lexington, Marion, Owensboro and Independence will undergo changes by 2011.