Guard on alert

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 6, 2004

The Alabama National Guard announced today the 122nd Corps Support Group of Selma has been alerted for possible mobilization for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. Martin Dyson, public relations specialist, said the unit has only been alerted for possible deployment sometime this year and no mobilization orders have been issued at this time.

“This will allow commanders time get everything in order, instead of giving them just 24 or 48 hours notice like in the past,” Dyson said. “This alert could last all year, or they could be taken off. This is just a ‘maybe’.”

Email newsletter signup

The 122nd Support Group is one of four units in the state to receive alert orders, along with the 200th Engineer Battalion of Linden, the 2101st Transportation Company of Camden, and the 128th Medical Company of Ashland.

Dayson said the early alert of National Guard units allows for maximum home station preparation for soldiers, their families, and their employers.

It also ensures soldiers will have time to train on the necessary skills needed for their specific mission if, or when, they are deployed.

According to a press release, this alert is part of the U.S. military’s plan to rotate forces in Iraq.

It is not due to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s announcement yesterday to deploy around 10,000 troops to replace the 1st Armored Division and 2nd Light Cavalry Regiment, whose tours in Iraq were been extended an extra 90 to 120 days.

An Army brigade and two Marine expeditionary units have already been selected to replace the extended brigades, which are currently operating in the Central-South region of Iraq. These additional are expected to arrive sometime between June and July.

This change will keep the number of U.S. troops in Iraq at between 135,000 and 138,000.

The Alabama National Guard currently has nine units operating in Iraq.

The National Guard Public Relations Office stated the 1151st Engineer Team based out of Ft McClellan and the 214th Military Police Company based in Alexander City and Tuskegee are expected to return to the U.S. sometime within the next two to three weeks.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 8,000 personnel from Alabama Army and Air National Guard united have been mobilized for duty to protect the nation from acts of terrorism.