Governor Nikki Haley has ordered the South Carolina National Guard to begin using armed guards at its facilities — particularly recruiting stations.
In an executive order filed Monday, the governor authorized the guard to designate either personnel or civilian employees as special guards for storefront recruitment centers. The guards would be required to undergo “force protection” training before they could do so. It also allows the SC National Guard’s commanding officer Adjutant General Robert Livingston to activate guard members as needed to protect facilities as well as add other security measures.
The order comes roughly a month after the governor ordered a review of all National Guard facilities’ security arrangements following attacks on a military recruitment center and a Navy Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee last month. Four Marines and a sailor died as a result of the July 16 attacks. The shooter, a Kuwaiti-born American citizen who is believed to have acted alone, was killed by police at the reserve center.
“(T)his kind of targeted, domestic attack on United States military personnel has become increasingly common in recent years and presents the threat of violence to service men and women and military facilities in South Carolina,” the order states.
The governor’s order also calls for local police departments to work with the State Law Enforcement Division and orders SLED to expedite concealed-weapons permit requests from National Guard members.
The SC National Guard said it has 70 armories, bases and recruitment centers across the state.