Sunday, September 23, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

Air Force reservists
on call for Hickam

The 62 civilians are among more
than 10,000 mobilized for
the war on terrorism

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Sixty-two Air Force reservists may be added to the Pacific Air Forces staff at Hickam Air Force Base as part of the latest 10,303 citizen troops mobilized for active duty following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

The 62 are part of 2,075 Air Force Reserve personnel who do not belong to any specific reserve unit, but were placed on alert because of their individual skills. It was not immediately known how many of these reservists live in the islands or will have to report to Hickam from outside the state.

Senior Master Sgt. Darla Ernst, Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman, said the 62 reserve positions range from security to public affairs to civil engineers. They are assigned to Hickam and are carried on their roster and subject to call-up when the need arises.

Yesterday's mobilization order means that these people can be called up "if we decide we need them," Ernst said.

They were alerted for active duty under the partial mobilization of 50,000 reservists authorized by President Bush to support his offensive against terrorism.

In additional, another 5,172 more Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members were called to active duty yesterday. This brings the total Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve called to active duty to 10,303.

More than 3,000 of those called to active duty yesterday serve in 12 units from 11 states. These units will provide air refueling and joint communications. Additional security force personnel called to active duty are 78 Air National Guard members from 24 other units and 56 Air Force Reservists from 12 other units.

Most of the Air Force personnel called up last week will provide air refueling and communications for the Air Force combat units, including those that are deploying to the Persian Gulf and areas near Afghanistan, which the Bush administration has signaled is likely to be a target unless its Taliban government complies with an ultimatum to root out suspected terrorists operating from there.

Other reservists will be used to provide security for the combat operations, and for specialized roles like managing satellite communications or purchasing weapons.

The latest call-up is part of a massive military preparation being mobilized for Bush's war against terrorism.

On Friday in Japan the USS Kitty Hawk, the only U.S. aircraft carrier stationed in the western Pacific, left its port in Yokosuka for an undisclosed location. Two carriers are already in the Persian Gulf or Indian Ocean, and a third, the Theodore Roosevelt, left Norfolk, Va., during the week for the Mediterranean Sea and possibly points east.

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