About 13,000 National Guard troops are receiving notice to prepare for deployment to Iraq, making it the second tour for several thousand of them.
The orders had been anticipated, but the specific units were not announced until yesterday. They are the Army National Guard’s 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, based in Little Rock, Ark.; the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of Oklahoma City; the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of Indianapolis; and the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of Columbus, Ohio.
The units would serve as replacement forces in the regular troop rotation for the war and would not be connected to the recent military buildup for security operations in Baghdad, the Pentagon said.
One unit would deploy in December and the rest next year, the Army said.
“They are receiving alert orders now in order to provide them the maximum time to complete their preparations,” the Defense Department said. “It also provides a greater measure of predictability for family members and flexibility for employers to plan for military service of their employees.”
The final determination on whether the units will deploy will be made based on conditions on the ground in Iraq, officials said.
Smaller units and individual troops from the Guard already have returned to Iraq, and some active-duty units have served multiple tours. The Army said some of the troops being alerted now have not served in Iraq, but some have served in the campaign in Afghanistan or elsewhere.
The 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team last deployed as part of the 1st Cavalry Division from February 2004 to February 2005, serving in Baghdad’s Green Zone and in Taji.
Since November 2002, various elements of the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team have deployed at one time or another to Iraq and Afghanistan. Their last brigade-level rotation was in support of the Afghan campaign from May 2004 to August 2005.
The 45th most recently served in Afghanistan, deploying in the fall of 2003 to support the Afghan National Army.
The 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team last deployed to support operations in Kosovo as part of the U.N. mission from August 2004 to February 2005. Because of reorganization, the brigade now includes citizen soldiers from Ohio and Michigan.
“These outstanding citizen soldiers, their family members and employers continue to make great sacrifices for the good of our country, and they appreciate and acknowledge the continued support of the American people,” the Army said.