By Kristin Espeland
Laramie, WY – The wyoming army national guard announced plans to boost its strength over the coming year. The guard plans to authorize nearly 500 additional soldier slots, raising its statewide number to more than 1800 soldiers. Plans are in the works to increase the guard's presence in Powell. And the guard will reestablish a post in Rawlins. Wyoming army national guard chief of staff Colonel tim sheperd says the guard pulled out of Rawlins in 1996, but he anticipates the return will help the community. Sheperd says the units the guard plans to reestablish and expand are both combat support units and that either could potentially be called up for service in Iraq. Army national guard documents list nearly 400 wyoming army guard soldiers currently on active duty.