N.H. National Guard Reviewing Security At Recruiting Centers

Jul 22, 2015

Brian Blackden of Concord outside the US Army Recruiting Center on Loudon Road Wednesday morning.
Credit Michael Brindley for NHPR

The New Hampshire National Guard has temporarily closed its Manchester recruiting facility after last week’s deadly shooting at a Chattanooga, Tennessee military recruiting station.

Lt. Col. Greg Heilshorn says closing the Manchester office was done as a precaution, as the National Guard reviews security procedures at its two recruiting sites.

“So we’re working with the local police to review what we have in place and then from there determine how we can maybe beef those measures up or change some of them.”

Heilshorn says National Guard recruiters have never been armed, and adds there’s been no specific threat against any of the state’s military recruiting sites.

Still, armed civilians like Brian Blackden have taken it upon themselves to stand guard outside military recruiting stations.

Carrying a sniper rifle outside the Armed Forces Career Center in Concord, Blackden says someone has to protect the people inside.

“Until these people are armed or somebody is here armed to protect them and they can protect themselves from lone-wolf terrorism or crazy people with guns that want to kill soft targets.”

The National Guard recruiting station in Durham will remain open during the review.