62 in Guard headed
for Afghanistan

A helicopter repair unit will
leave Hawaii later this spring

Sixty-two members of the Hawaii Army National Guard's helicopter maintenance unit have been alerted for duty in Afghanistan later this spring.

Last week, members of Bravo Company of the Hawaii Army National Guard's 193rd Aviation Regiment were told that they will have to report for active duty later this month to prepare to replace other members of their unit who have been at Kandahar since late August.

The company is responsible for maintaining helicopters flown by the 25th Infantry Division and the Hawaii Army National Guard.

An additional 200 members of Charlie Company, 193rd Aviation, have been on active duty at Schofield Barracks since January preparing for a one-year deployment to Iraq.

The unit's 14 CH-47 Chinook helicopters are already en route to Iraq on USNS Cape Henry. Also included are heavy trucks and equipment for the Army Reserve's 411th Engineer Combat Battalion and 25th Division transportation units.

Yesterday, the Pentagon placed on alert 18,000 Army National Guard soldiers from the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters from New York, the 256th Separate Infantry Brigade from Louisiana, the 116th Separate Armored Brigade from Idaho and the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment from Tennessee for likely deployment to Iraq late this year or early 2005.

The soldiers will be part of a larger force of 100,000 active-duty and reserve troops expected to take over for the contingent beginning a one-year tour in Iraq this month. Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division arrived in Kirkuk last month for a year-long stay.

None of Hawaii's combat units were included in yesterday's alert, although Hawaii Reserve leaders expect that the 29th Infantry Brigade, which includes citizen soldiers from Hawaii, may be required to deploy to Iraq next year.


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