January 14, 2003, 12:58 EST

203rd RED HORSE receives Executive Order

BLACKSTONE, Va. - Maj. Gen. Claude Williams, the adjutant general of Virginia,
announced that the 203rd RED HORSE Flight located in Virginia Beach, Va. has received an Executive Order calling for the phased-in mobilization of potentially a significant portion of the unit for active federal service. The mobilization order calls for the phased activation of the 203rd as well as its sister unit, the 202nd RED HORSE Squadron stationed at Camp Blanding in Florida, for up to one year.

Williams said the airmen from the 203rd would undergo pre-mobilization processing at their home unit at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach before month's end.

The decision to mobilize the Air Guard unit and place it in a federal status occurs at the Department of Defense level, in response to the nation's current military needs. He said it is a very dynamic process and is constantly subject to change. "The Virginia Army and Air National Guard is trained, ready, and committed to do whatever the national command authority deems necessary," Williams said.

Williams stated that the Virginia Air National Guard unit mobilization will take place in a phased manner, and emphasized that the unit has not received a deployment order at this time. He would not speculate on whether additional airmen of the Virginia Air National Guard would be called to active federal service later on.

In addition to the routine training activities that are taking place, Williams said 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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