N.D. Guard unit placed on alert, may go to Gulf
A North Dakota National Guard unit three years removed from duty in Kosovo may be on the move again. Members of the 142nd Combat Engineer Battalion have been placed on alert and told to report Saturday morning for further assignment. The 142nd, w...
A North Dakota National Guard unit three years removed from duty in Kosovo may be on the move again.
Members of the 142nd Combat Engineer Battalion have been placed on alert and told to report Saturday morning for further assignment.
The 142nd, with headquarters in Fargo, has detachments in Wahpeton, Mayville, Oakes and Lisbon. Company B of the 142nd spent from January to August 2000 in Kosovo building roads and structures. Many soldiers in Company B are carpenters, plumbers and electricians.
Members of the 142nd, who did not wish to be identified, said they were told Monday they are on alert. They said they see this as the first step in being deployed overseas again.
A spokesman for the North Dakota National Guard said Monday that a unit has been placed on alert, but refused to identify the unit.
"We cannot confirm that the 142nd has been mobilized," he said.
The spokesman said the unit began making calls to soldiers about noon Monday and hopes everyone is notified by this morning.
The activation of the National Guard unit is part of the massive U.S. troop buildup in preparation for a possible war with Iraq.
The Guard spokesman, who asked not to be identified, said it's a two-step process when the Pentagon calls: alert for possible mobilization, and then the mobilization order, including a time to report for duty.
The alert gives the unit time to update personnel and innoculation records, as well as equipment, he said.
When Company B of the 142nd was deployed to Kosovo, alert notification came in late November 1999 and approximately 100 soldiers were deployed in early January 2000.
The North Dakota Army National Guard has about 3,200 members statewide and the Air National Guard about 1,100 members.
Two other North Dakota Army National Guard units have been placed on alert, and one of them is already mobilized.
About 127 members of Company A of the 141st Engineer Battalion will begin active duty Jan. 30.
The soldiers from Edgeley, Wishek and Carrington will spend a week training at Fort Carson, Colo., then deploy to Air Force bases in Minot and Grand Forks, as well as the Air National Guard in Fargo for security duty.
They will be on active duty for about one year.
Last week the 957th Multi- Role Bridge Company of Bismarck was put on alert, but has not yet been mobilized.
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