500 guardsmen will be on duty for Y2K | NevadaAppeal.com

500 guardsmen will be on duty for Y2K

JIM SCRIPPS

Nevada National Guard soldiers will be out in force throughout the state tonight for the long-anticipated beginning of the year 2000.

Close to 20 percent (500 soldiers) of the total number enlisted in the state will be present at three command centers and at the state’s rural armories in case of computer or human-related complications.

Lt. Col. Cindy Kirkland, guard spokeswoman, said soldiers on duty this weekend will be training for state emergencies and community support.

She added that in the case of a national crisis, the guard will dispatch personnel to area where they may be needed.

“I won’t say we’ve had any special training for this specific occasion, but many of our war-time skills can be used,” she said.

Soldiers will split into two shifts with the bulk of “task force” personnel concentrated at the Clark County armory in Las Vegas, the air guard base in Reno and the Washoe County armory in Stead. Kirkland said national guard personnel off-duty this weekend are scheduled for training later in the month.

When asked if soldiers will be issued live ammunition, Kirkland said it is normal for military police and security forces to carry weapons during their details.

“Part of their training is to operate weapons,” she said.

Even if something unexpected happens during the night, Kirkland said soldiers will become involved only to support local law enforcement. “We could possibly get involved,” she said. “We don’t plan on doing that.”