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Thursday, May 23, 2002



39 reservists
join overseas
war on terror

The isle Air National Guard
military police will go to
an undisclosed site


By Gregg K. Kakesako
gkakesako@starbulletin.com

Thirty-nine Hawaii Air National Guard military policemen will be leaving security duty at Hickam Air Force Base to join the nation's war on terrorism overseas.

Maj. Chuck Anthony, Hawaii National Guard spokesman, said he cannot reveal where and when the local reservists will be leaving the islands because of security reasons.

All of the military policemen are members of the 154th Security Forces Squadron, who have been members of the U.S. homeland defense effort since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"They will now be joining Enduring Freedom," Anthony said.

As of yesterday the total number of Reserve and National Guard personnel currently on active duty was 81,403. That breaks down to Army National Guard and Army Reserve, 29,097; Naval Reserve, 9,056; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 37,228; Marine Corps Reserve, 4,298; the Coast Guard Reserve, 1,724.

Anthony said 100 Army Guard soldiers and 522 soldiers from the Hawaii Air National Guard have been activated for federal duty since Sept. 11.

The Pacific Army Reserve has placed 264 of its soldiers on active duty. However, only 78 are from Hawaii, and the majority of Army reservists called to active duty were military policemen from Guam.

For many of the 39 Hawaii Air National Guard members at Hickam, the change until now was fairly easy since they were traditional reservists, serving once a month on weekend drills and summer camp, as law enforcement specialists with the 154th.

Staff Sgt. Clifford Ramson, who has been with the Air Guard for 11 years, was placed on active duty at Hickam on Oct. 15. Ramson also has been with the Honolulu Police Department for nearly eight years, and he pointed out that many National Guard members are fellow officers from HPD, the neighbor islands and local federal law enforcement agencies.

Others, like Senior Airman Saul Alvarico, 42, had to take a pay cut when they entered active duty in October.

"I am eating it when it comes to pay, but my country needs me," said Alvarico, who was a carpet layer before the events of Sept. 11 changed his life.



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