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In response to last Thursday’s armed assault on military personnel at two facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee that killed four Marines — including one from northwestern Wisconsin — and a Sailor, Gov. Scott Walker has directed Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general, to arm certain members of the Wisconsin National Guard while on duty.

“Safety must be our top priority, especially in light of the horrific attack in Chattanooga,” Walker said. “Allowing our National Guard troops to carry weapons while on duty gives them the tools they need to serve and protect our citizens, as well as themselves.”

Executive Order 168 details Walker’s call to arm certain Wisconsin National Guard members “as reasonably necessary to preserve the lives, property, and security of themselves and other persons subject to the threat of an attack” in Chattanooga and elsewhere. The order states that such attacks are “becoming more prevalent in recent years.”

Dunbar said he would take deliberate steps to increase the protective posture at Wisconsin National Guard facilities.

“I want to assure the people of Wisconsin that we will take measured, responsible steps to protect our facilities and, more importantly, the people who work and train there,” Dunbar said.

The initial plan is to place specific security forces personnel at the four Wisconsin National Guard recruiting storefront locations throughout the state.

Walker also directed Dunbar to evaluate longer-term plans to ensure the safety of service members in Wisconsin.