Newest National Guard unit settling in at armory

By Dennis Minich

Harrisonville is the home of the newest unit in the Missouri National Guard. The 1251st Medium Transport Company was established in January and took command of the armory on Jefferson Parkway at that time. The 1251st replaces the 1139th Military Police, which was transferred to Kansas City.

The new unit is part of the 220th Medium Transport Battalion, which is headquartered in Fredericktown. The local company does much of its training at Camp Clark near Nevada, and there is a detachment in Nevada.

Commanding the group is Capt. Mitchell Woodrum. He said since the unit is new, its members have a variety of service histories. Several remained from the 1139th.

“The morale is extremely high. I think everyone is excited to get into their new roles, to learn and be prepared to execute,” he said. “Every unit has its own distinctive identity. We are building our foundation, we are starting from the ground up, and we think everyone is excited about that.”

Echoing the captain’s sentiments was 1st Sgt. Brian Keith.

“We are very quickly becoming a close-knit family,” he said. “I think everyone is excited for us to execute as a team.”

The unit was busy the past two weeks, as much of the annual training was taking place. Various vehicles were seen around the area and most of them were for training, according to Woodrum.

“Our main focus is training. Some are training here and we have some others elsewhere,” he said.

Keith added, “Predominately, we are learning how to maintain the equipment and execute properly.”

The unit’s motto is “Strength Through Movement”, and Keith said an important part of the 1251st mission is being active in the community.

“Much of the full-time staff is the same as it was with the MP unit. So, they are familiar with the community, and we plan to remain active in the community. Many of our people are already active as members of various clubs and organizations throughout the area.” he said.

Although the exact number of soldiers staffing the unit wasn’t disclosed, they did say that most of the personnel live within about an hour of the armory.