|Oregon Army National Guard Battalion Alerted for possible mobilization
The Department of Defense notified the Oregon Army National Guard on February 29, 2004 that the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry, headquartered in LaGrande, Ore., and G Troop, which are the Cavalry Scouts for the 116th Brigade, located in Redmond with a detachment in Woodburn, Ore have been alerted for possible activation in support of ongoing worldwide operations. The battalion, one part of the 116th Brigade headquartered in Idaho, is the only Oregon element of a unit with organizations in Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Utah. The 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry has units in LaGrande, Pendleton, Ontario, Baker City, Hermiston and The Dalles.
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld approved the alerting of approximately 18,000 National Guard soldiers for likely inclusion in the rotation of forces to support operations in Iraq. If needed, these forces would replace deployed units starting in late 2004 and early 2005.
The major commands being alerted are the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters from New York, the 256th Separate Infantry Brigade from Louisiana, the 116th Separate Armored Brigade from Idaho and the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment from Tennessee.
This alert notification does not necessarily mean that citizen soldiers assigned to the Oregon Army National Guard will be called to duty, but it does mean National Guard staff and soldiers should work to get personal affairs in order to be ready for any future mobilization. Those affairs may include preparing powers of attorney, other legal issues and any other issues concerning jobs, school or personal debt. As part of this alert order, a 'stop-loss order' is now in effect. By federal law and policy, this means most Guardsman affected by this notification will not be eligible to end their term of military service until this alert order no longer applies.
The 116th Cavalry Brigade is the largest unit of the Idaho National Guard. The brigade is headquartered in Boise, with more than 3,500 soldiers assigned. Most of the brigade's soldiers are Idahoans, but the brigade has subordinate units in Montana, Oregon and Utah. Army National Guardsmen from those states are affected by this alert order, as are several Army National Guard units in Pennsylvania and North Dakota who would round out the capabilities of the 116th Brigade if it receives a mobilization order.
"Our citizen soldiers, their families and their civilian employers need to be aware that if these Oregonians are deployed, the mobilization could last up to two years," said Brig. Gen. Ray Byrne, Jr., Acting Adjutant General of Oregon. "This alert notification is a way to give our citizen soldiers as much time as possible to get their personal affairs organized if we do in fact receive mobilization orders. As part of the 'total force,' we are trained and ready to quickly integrate with the United States Army if and when those mobilization orders are sent."
The Oregon National Guard currently has over 1700 citizen soldiers deployed in overseas and homeland security roles. The Oregon National Guard is currently in preparing for the imminent homecoming redeployment of the 1st Bn, 162nd Infantry, (Forest Grove) and Bravo Company, 52nd Engineers (Albany). Both units are in staging areas in Kuwait and preparing to return to Oregon within the next several weeks.
With this alert, elements of each of the major combat arms branches of the Army, including Infantry, Field Artillery, Aviation and now Armor have been activated within the Oregon Army National Guard.
The Army National Guard is a partner with the Active Army and the Army Reserves in fulfilling the country's military needs. In recent years, Army Guard soldiers served in more than 80 countries in a wide variety of operations including peacekeeping, stabilization, security, nation building, etc. More than 98,000 National Guardsmen, Army and Air, are currently serving in this capacity around the world.
The 3rd Battalion, 116th Brigade's primary wartime mission is to provide battlefield commanders with tanks and personnel. However, the brigade has recently focused on training for stability and support operations in countries such as Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo.
Media Advisory: - Media should address their questions to Ms. Kay Fristad, Oregon Military Department at 503.584.3917 or cell 503-931-5179, not to the armories in their local areas.
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