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Alaska National Guard to get rid of dozens of armories

August 1, 2018

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska National Guard is getting rid of dozens of armories located in cities and villages across the state, seeking to hand over ownership to local communities.

Over the next four years, the guard is planning to divest more than 60 armories set up during the Cold War, KYUK-AM reported Tuesday. About half of the buildings are located in communities in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska.

The armories are typically wood construction, up to 1,800 square feet (167 square meters) with metal roofs and siding and heating fuel tanks outside, said Brian Duffy, administrative services director of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The Cold War relics served to monitor any suspicious activity in Alaska from the former Soviet Union.

“What you would have were pockets of people that served to look, see, feel, hear things in their communities that were different and report back,” Duffy said.

The buildings have been largely left vacant in recent years, increasingly becoming a liability for the state.

“So our goal is to get them off our books and get them into the hands of an organization that can make better use of them than we are right now,” Duffy said.

If a federal agency doesn’t want the buildings, the armories can be claimed for free by any community entity.

Each site will be inspected for contamination, and any unclaimed buildings will be demolished.

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Information from: KYUK-AM, http://www.kyuk.org

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