December 28, 2002, 09:28 EST

Engineer and Quartermaster units alerted

BLACKSTONE, Va. - Maj. Gen. Claude Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, announced that the 189th Engineer Company located in Big Stone Gap, Va. and the 222nd Quartermaster Detachment located in Staunton, Va. have been alerted for possible active federal service. If the mobilization occurs it will affect approximately 120 Virginia soldiers. If the units are ordered to active duty it will be for a one-year period initially.

Williams said the soldiers from the alerted units would undergo pre-mobilization processing at their home armories and Ft. Pickett, Va. in early January. He emphasized that a mobilization order has not been received and a final decision to mobilize the units has not been reached. The decision to mobilize an Army National Guard unit and place it in a federal status occurs at the Department of Defense in response to the nation's military needs. He said it is a very dynamic process and is constantly subject to change.

Williams said that these units are currently conducting sensible planning and making preparations in the event they are called. He went on to say "The Virginia Army and Air National Guard is trained, ready, and committed to do whatever the national command authority deems necessary."

Williams re-stated the Virginia National Guard has not received a mobilization order affecting these units. He pointed out he commanded a Virginia Army National Guard unit that was mobilized and deployed overseas during Operation Desert Storm. He said the mobilization date for his unit was changed twice before the unit actually mobilized. He also pointed out more recently Virginia National Guard units had been notified of potential deployments in support of Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom and those deployments did not take place in all cases. General Williams would not speculate on whether additional soldiers and airmen of the Virginia National Guard would be called to active federal service later on.

Williams said that in addition to the routine training activities that are taking place many of the 7,500 soldiers of the Virginia Army National Guard and 1,200 airmen of the Virginia Air National Guard have recently or are currently serving on active duty across the United States and around the World.

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