MONTESANO, Wash. - Signaling what could be the end of an era, and either change or newer equipment for the National Guard Armory in Montesano. Governor Jay Inslee has asked national officials to convert the 81st Armored Brigade Combat Team to a Stryker brigade. The move may provide more modern equipment for the Western Washington brigade as equipment is pulled from Iraq and Afghanistan. Inslee says the old tanks being used by the 81st are too heavy to use on roads during emergencies, such as earthquakes and floods. The governor's office says there is currently only one National Guard Stryker brigade in the country.
The 2nd Battalion of the 81st is the 146th Field Artillery Regiment, composed of one Headquarters Battery and two cannon batteries, located in Olympia, Montesano, and Longview, Washington. The 81st includes Armor, Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, Support, and Special Troop regiments,