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Press Release
November 27, 2001
Guard battalion prepares for Sinai deployment
 
Salem - At press conferences today in Portland and Ashland, Maj. Gen. Alexander Burgin, the adjutant general, and Brig. Gen. Raymond Byrne, commander of the 41st Infantry Brigade, announced the mobilization of 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry, as part of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) peacekeeping mission in Egypt.

Headquartered in Ashland with units in Medford, Roseburg, Grants Pass and Klamath Falls, the battalion was selected by the National Command Authority to mobilize, train and deploy over 500 Oregon Army National Guard soldiers in the spring of 2002.
 
The 1-186th Infantry Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. Dan Cameron, will conduct pre-mobilization training and soldier readiness processing and will receive theater-specific training at Fort Carson in March 2002 before deploying to the Sinai region. The unit will mobilize under Partial Mobilization Authority (Operation Noble Eagle). This level of mobilization authorizes soldiers to be activated for up to one year and no longer than two years. It is expected that they will return to Oregon and demobilize in January or February 2003.
 
The MFO Sinai mission has several differences from traditional peacekeeping missions. The MFO operates within the two nations of Egypt and Israel, bound by a treaty of peace. Each nation exercises sovereignty over its respective territories. Thus, the peacekeeping force does not act as a buffer between combatants. Rather, it works closely with two nations to support a permanent peace they had already struggled together to forge and maintain.
 
There are 11 nations, including US forces, which participate in the MFO Sinai mission. US forces represent about 900 of the 1,900 soldiers and civilians comprising the MFO mission force. This force, along with the observer mission roles, ensures freedom of navigation through the Strait of Tiran at the southern entrance to the Gulf of Agaba. The task force will be responsible for the operation of checkpoints, reconnaissance patrols and observation points along the international border separating Israel and Egypt..
 
This marks the largest call-up of soldiers from the Army National Guard since World War II.
 
For more information contact:
 
Maj. Jeff Julum
(503) 584-3885
Cell: (503) 551-8323
 
Kay Fristad
503-584-3917
Cell: (503) 931-5179