3,400 soldiers alerted to serve in Iraq and Kuwait in 2009
The Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 32nd Brigade Combat Team, which includes units in 36 Wisconsin communities, would serve with brigades from Oregon and Mississippi, Lt. Col. Tim Donovan said in a news release.
That affects about 50 Janesville soldiers who are in units of the 32nd Brigade, Donovan said. The brigade includes the Janesville-based Company A, 132nd Brigade Support Battalion. Company A has a detachment in Elkhorn. Fewer than 10 Elkhorn soldiers are members of the 32nd units, Donovan said.
Company A is among seven brigade units that have served since Sept. 11, 2001. The unit had a one-year mission in Afghanistan beginning in November 2005.
The current plan is for the about 3,450 Wisconsin soldiers to do base defense and route security in Iraq and Kuwait in the summer of 2009.
It is not certain that a mobilization will follow this alert, Donovan said.
“But we’re going to march forward with the expectation that the 32nd will be mobilized, and we’ll adjust to any changes to current plans if and when they occur,” he told WCLO Radio.
Donovan said the advance alerts help provide predictability for families and flexibility for businesses to plan for their employees’ service.
The 32nd Brigade’s soldiers were notified over the weekend during scheduled weekend drills.
In all, the alerts for the three states affect about 8,000 men and women, the Defense Department said.
The soldiers headed to Iraq will train for “security force” missions such as defending bases and guarding convoys. However, it is difficult to know exactly how the soldiers will be used so far in advance. Conditions on the battlefield are constantly changing and the military is forced to adapt.
The brigade has units in 36 Wisconsin communities: Janesville, Elkhorn, Fort Atkinson, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield, Stevens Point, Appleton, Clintonville, Waupun, Ripon, Green Bay, Fond du Lac, Marinette, Eau Claire, Abbottsford, Menomonie, New Richmond, Rice Lake, Arcadia, Onalaska, River Falls, Portage, Mauston, Milwaukee, Baraboo, Madison, Waupaca, Neillsville, Mosinee, Wausau, Merrill, Onalaska, Antigo, Watertown and Reedsburg.
Other brigade units that previously served since Sept. 11, 2001, include:
-- Eau Claire-based 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry (Iraq service from June 2004 to November 2005)
-- Camp Douglas-based 32nd Brigade Headquarters (Kuwait service from June 2005 to July 2006)
-- Appleton-based 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry (Kuwait and Iraq service from June 2005 to August 2006)
-- Wisconsin Rapids-based 1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery (Kuwait and Iraq service from August 2005 to November 2006)
-- Madison-based 105th Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron (formerly 2nd Battalion, 128th Infantry, with Kuwait service from August 2005 to November 2006)
-- Madison-based Company B, Brigade Special Troops Battalion (formerly the 232nd Military Intelligence Company with Afghanistan service from November 2005 to January 2007).