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Thread: Pentagon Ready To Call Up Guard Units For 2008-9

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Pentagon Ready To Call Up Guard Units For 2008-9

    Pentagon ready to call up Guard units for 2008-09
    Troops destined to replace brigades going to war zones in next 2 months

    Washington Post

    WASHINGTON — The Pentagon this week plans to alert at least seven National Guard units to be ready for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009 as the U.S. military's reserve forces are increasingly called upon to relieve the strain on active-duty ground troops, defense officials said Wednesday.

    The call-ups are aimed at preparing forces to replace the approximately 13,000 Army National Guard troops in four brigades that will begin flowing into Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan over the next two months. In addition, they will help ease the burden on active-duty troops that has grown with the "surge" of U.S. forces into both Iraq and Afghanistan this year, the officials said.

    Currently there are about 170,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 26,000 in Afghanistan.

    "All the active component brigades have been used as part of the surge, and the requirements are not going away," said a National Guard official. "You create holes when you surge units forward, and someone has to fill them," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Pentagon had not yet alerted the units.

    From at least 4 states
    If Guard units were not called up as replacements, the Army would be forced to lengthen deployment times for active-duty soldiers beyond the current 15 months, or cut back their time at home to less than a year, said the official.

    Officials declined to specify which National Guard combat brigades would be called up. But they will include units from North Carolina, Oklahoma, Illinois and Hawaii, officials told The Associated Press. Some of those being alerted this week have done tours in the war zone already, and others would be going for the first time.

    The National Guard troops will perform combat patrols, secure convoys and guard detainees, among other missions, officials said.

    In January, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that the Pentagon would lift some restrictions on Guard and reserve call-ups and allow some reserve units to be remobilized sooner than planned — meaning more involuntary call-ups for individuals. Meanwhile, he reduced the length of the mobilizations for reservists to a maximum of a year at a time, in contrast to the 16 to 24 months that had become standard since the Iraq war began.

    National Guard leaders welcomed the change, because it allowed them to remobilize entire units, rather than calling up individuals from a variety of units in a piecemeal fashion.

    Time for training
    Nevertheless, the 12-month cap on Guard deployments means that the Army can only expect to have those units on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan for about nine months, as they need time to train. That, in addition to other factors, makes it difficult for National Guard combat brigades to serve interchangeably with active-duty Army brigades, and has created new frustrations for Guard leaders.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    AuGmENTor Guest
    A pretty good barometer of how desperate they are for fresh meat...

  3. #3
    PhilosophyGenius Guest
    Amazing how Bush still gets a big applause each times he visits the military.

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