October 16, 2002, 14:02 EDT

Soldiers from Data Processing Unit mobilized for active federal service

BLACKSTONE, Va. - Maj. Gen. Claude Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia,
announced that seven soldiers of the Army National Guard Data Processing Unit of the Virginia Army National Guard, stationed in Manassas, Va. are being mobilized for active federal service. The approximately 140 members of the Army National Guard Data Processing Unit provide automated information systems and information operations support to the National Guard Bureau, as well as information operations support to the 1st Information Operations Command - Land (IO) (L) stationed at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.

The seven soldiers being ordered to active federal duty are systems automation engineers, administrators, analysts and computer/network security specialists. Their job is to provide day-to-day support for the National Guard Bureau's automated information management system and information operations support to the 1st IO Command (L). These soldiers will enter active federal service beginning October 30, 2002. They recently completed pre-mobilization training and processing at Fort Pickett, Blackstone, Va. in anticipation of this order to federal active duty.

This mobilization is in support of Operation Noble Eagle, the United States' homeland security response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. These soldiers will be ordered to active federal service for a one-year period beginning October 30, 2002. The Secretary of the Army may extend this period an additional 12 months based on operational needs or other requirements. These units will initially deploy to Fort Lee, Va. The soldiers' mission and deployment location were not provided. General Williams declined to speculate on what the mission or deployment location of these units may be.

Several Virginia Army National Guard units are currently serving in a federal status. The 246th Field Artillery which has units stationed in Danville, Martinsville, Chatham, and South Boston, and E Battery, 111th Field Artillery which is located in Sandston, entered active federal service on August 1, 2002. These units are currently serving at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Company B, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, stationed at Fort A. P. Hill, Va. is currently deployed in Afghanistan and 2nd Battalion, 116th Infantry will enter active federal service on November 1, 2002.

Other Virginia Army National Guard units of the 29th Infantry Division including elements of the Division headquarters, Ft. Belvoir; 224th Aviation Battalion, Sandston; and 229th Engineer Battalion, Fredericksburg had returned earlier this year from a deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina. These units supported the NATO Stabilization Force mission in the Balkans.

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