600 reservists might deploy
About 600 Army Reserve soldiers in Hawaii and the Pacific region have been put on alert that they could be deployed to Kuwait.
The 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry expects to deploy with the Hawaii National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team, which is due to provide security for U.S. installations in Kuwait starting next summer.
Unit leaders began notifying the reserve soldiers of the possible call-up yesterday, said Brian Melanephy, a spokesman for the 9th Mission Support Command in Honolulu.
The unit will increase the level of its training to prepare for the deployment, Army officials said.
Units affected include the Headquarters, Headquarters Company from Oahu and Hilo, the Bravo and Charlie Companies from American Samoa, Delta Company from Oahu and Echo Company from Guam and Saipan.
The battalion returned in March 2006 after spending more than a year in Iraq with the 29th Brigade Combat Team.
If they deploy, the soldiers are expected to be away from home for one year, unlike the last deployment of 18 to 20 months.
Because of security reasons, the projected size of the deployment and where it will be based are not being released, an Army spokesman said.
During that tour, soldiers conducted combat and security operations in the Saladin province of Iraq and received a meritorious unit commendation.
The 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, is famous for being the mostly Japanese-American unit that fought in Europe during World War II. Many of its members during that time were from Hawaii, including U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, who was awarded the Medal of Honor.