Governor Doug Ducey today issued an executive order directing the Adjutant General to take actions to enhance and strengthen the safety and security of Arizona National Guard personnel.
The governor’s order, a response to the recent attacks on military recruitment and readiness centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, authorizes Major General Michael McGuire to:
A. Identify and arm of all appropriately-trained National Guard personnel who he determines reasonably necessary, based upon their duty positions, responsibilities, or locations, to protect themselves and other persons from the threat of deadly physical force;
B. Institute a policy and training requirements that permit Guardsmen to carry personally-owned handguns while on duty at a secured facility or military instillation, in lieu of a government-issued handgun, as specified by the Adjutant General. This policy should allow Guard personnel to carry these handguns on unsecured facilities while on duty if a government-issued handgun is not reasonably accessible.
C. Consult with the Director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety to review the security measures and protocols in place at Arizona National Guard facilities, including without limitation recruiting offices, and make any recommendations necessary to further protect Soldiers, Airmen, and the public against attacks on military personnel.
“What happened in Chattanooga was shocking and saddening, and it took the lives of five American servicemen,” said Governor Ducey. “With the number of tragic shootings that have occurred on military installations in recent years, it’s imperative that our soldiers and airmen – people who put their lives on the line every day to protect our state and nation – have at least the same level of self-defense as the citizens they’re fighting for. We’re committed to doing whatever is reasonably necessary to ensure the safety and security of these men and women, and of all Arizonans.”
“The safety and security of our Soldiers, Airmen and civilian employees is our highest priority,” said Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, the Adjutant General, Arizona National Guard. “We are developing a plan that fulfills Governor Ducey’s executive order and best protects our service members and our fellow Arizonans.”
At least eight other governors have issued a similar order, with several others ramping up efforts to increase the safety and security of military personnel in their states.
The complete executive order can be viewed, here.