News: Army National Guard unit has the back of local prison guards
Story by Sgt. 1st Class James McGuire
By Sgt. 1st Class James McGuire, public affairs chief
Wyoming Army National Guard
TORRINGTON, Wyo. – For a bunch of guys who know how to fix things, they also know how to break them up.
The Wyoming Army National Guard’s B Company, 960th Brigade Support Battalion, stationed in Torrington, is primarily focused on repairing and maintaining vehicles; heating and ventilation, and lots of other mechanical devices that keep the Guard running smoothly.
The unit also has a secondary mission. Many of its almost 60 members are trained, as part of Wyoming’s National Guard Reaction Force, to react quickly to dangerous situations that could affect the safety of soldiers and the public. Being located in a town that houses almost 700 inmates at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institute, there is always the potential for a riot or other calamities.
The National Guard Reaction Force trained with a number of law enforcement agencies and recently validated its abilities in Sweetwater County. The soldiers have trained a few times with correctional officers, in Torrington, specifically the 19-man team specializing in riot control at the Torrington prison.
Three members of the riot control team were at the Torrington Armory, March 2, training the National Guard soldiers on the use of expandable batons for stopping one or more assailants in their tracks.
"We have a great relationship with the prison,” Staff Sgt. Shawn Hauf, B Company’s training non commissioned officer said, during a break in the training. “They train in our armory and provide us with quarterly training for our [reaction force] mission. It’s focused on riot control. They train for it all the time and we may step in and help out.”
Wyoming Department of Corrections Officer and Tactical Team Deputy Commander Cpl. Jordan Farrell said cross-training with the soldiers is a great opportunity for both organizations.
“Anytime you get to share knowledge, is a good thing,” he said.
Wyoming National Guard Sgt. David Poley, of Casper, works in the oil fields as a civilian, and as a recovery and welding specialist with the military. He said, “This is great hands-on training. It really leads a soldier to think, ‘what if I was put in this situation?’”
“Plus,” he added, “It’s a great workout too.”
Sgt. Brad Foos, a Guardsman from Guernsey, said the training has similarities to the Army’s “Warrior Tasks.”
“They get a little more in depth with this,” he said. “It’s good to know we can hurt somebody and stop them without killing them.”