Oklahoma National Guard troop relocating

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DURANT,OK---An Oklahoma National Guard troop is changing the home of their headquaters.

"This was just so geographically separated as a headquarters, and there's not like there was anything wrong with the location other than the time it took to get here." said Major Kevin Rolland.

The 1st Squadron, 1-1-80th Cavalry Regiment is moving their headquarters from Durant to Mcalester in June; a move that's upset many in Durant.

"The National Guard has always been a very stable group in our community that were always there to help us." said Janet Reed.

The 1-1-80th has been headquartered in Durant for decades. Two years ago they renovated their facility and several Durant residents helped out.

Durant Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Janet Reed says the 1-1-80th and Durant have been there for each other during times of deployment and during disasters and have learned to depend on one another.

"Where will our place as a community be to help them if they do have to go abroad, but on the things that we've always called for them to help us out as well." said Reed.

Major Kevin Rolland of the 1-1-80th says the re-organization is to help better serve all of southeastern oklahoma.

"It just connects us geographically with the highway system to I-40 a little bit faster, it allows us some operational reach into Poteau, and the Eastern side of the state a little bit faster." said Rolland.

Despite the reasons for the move, Reed says Durant got a raw deal.

"I think an official release would be great, or an input from the community that this will be affecting, which apparently that has not even been considered." said Reed.

Rolland says 90 guardsmen from the Alpha troop formerly stationed in Ada will move into the headquarters to serve Durant.

"We're not leaving, but the support that Durant has given us, gives us now, and will continue to give us, is amazing." said Rolland.

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