Friday, September 14, 2001

America Attacked

Janet Hyrne, executive director of Aloha Festivals, puts
on a red, white and blue ribbon in remembrance of those killed.

Hawaii reserves
not yet affected

None are summoned among
50,000 authorized today

By Gregg K. Kakesako

No Hawaii Air or Army National Guard units were ever activated for the 1991 Gulf War, although the Pacific Army Reserve sent a company of military police soldiers from Guam.

As of this morning, no Hawaii reserve units were affected by President Bush's order today calling up to 50,000 Reservists to active duty. Today's authorization only covers 35,000 reservists: Army, 10,000; Air Force, 13,000; Navy, 3,000; Marines, 7,500; and Coast Guard, 2,000. The reservists will be used to provide port operations, medical support, engineer support, general civil support and homeland defense.

The Ready Reserve most recently underwent a partial mobilization on Jan. 18, 1991, for Operation Desert Storm, when 265,322 Guard and Reserve members were activated.

Some 1.3 million men and women who serve in the seven reserve forces make up nearly one half of the U.S. armed forces.

The reserves have been called to active duty 11 times since World War II, with the largest being for the Korean War when 938,379 were placed on active duty between July 1950 to July 1953.

Nearly 9,000 men and women belong to the Hawaii Army and Air National Guard and the Army Reserve in Hawaii.

Army Reserve Col. John Ma, executive officer for the 9th Regional Support Command , said he has not heard of any call-ups but does not rule out any of his 3,300 citizen soldiers being called to active duty.

He said several Army Reserve soldiers here, mostly military police, were mobilized this week to help with security following Tuesday's suicide bombings at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

In 1991 some of the 160 soldiers belonging to the 368th Military Police Company were called up for the Gulf War along with several doctors and nurses. However, the medical personnel did not report to the Gulf but were sent to Germany to free up military doctors and nurses to serve in the war zone.

Maj. Chuck Anthony, Hawaii National Guard spokesman, said Hawaii Army and Air National Guard units were called up only three times since the Korean War.

In 1968 during the Vietnam War, the Hawaii Army Guard's 29th Infantry Brigade was placed on active duty. As a unit the 29th did not go to Vietnam but stayed at Schofield Barracks. However, many soldiers saw combat in Vietnam as replacement soldiers. The activation of the 29th Brigade was part of the 35,280 man call-up following the Tet offensive in Vietnam and the North Korean seizure of the USS surveillance ship USS Pueblo.

Anthony said that in 1996 the Hawaii Army National Guard's smallest unit, the 117th Public Affairs Detachment, was sent to Bosnia for nearly a year to provide media support for the Operation Joint Endeavor peacekeeping mission.

A year later, the Hawaii Air National Guard's 297th Air Traffic Control Squadron was activated and sent to Hungary to provide support for three months to troops in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia.

Hawaii Air National Guard aircraft and crews from the 154th Wing have been placed on duty for short periods of time to help patrol the southern and northern no-fly zone over Iraq as part of the Air Force's normal operational rotation, Anthony said.

The National Guard has a dual military role. It is part of a federal force that can be activated by presidential decree in national emergencies. Bush has the authority to mobilize 200,000 troops for up to 180 days under current law without congressional approval.

It also serves as a state militia under command of governors who can activate them for state emergencies such as natural disasters and riots.

The Army Reserve serves as the backup to the active Army, with most of its units serving in support roles such as transportation, supply, ammunition handling, water purification and civil affairs.

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