Marines redeploying
skilled unit of reservists
based in Hawaii

One of the first Hawaii-based Reserve units mobilized in 2003 for combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan -- the Marine Corps 4th Force Reconnaissance Company -- has gotten the call again.

This time, the unit, whose 120 members are split between Kaneohe Bay and Reno, Nev., will be sending 25 to 30 Hawaii Marines to Iraq this month. For security reasons, the Marines are not saying when they are leaving and where in the country they will be stationed.

The unit is the Marine Corps' version of the Army's Special Forces. On Jan. 14, 2003, 30 men from the unit were mobilized and left a month later for Iraq, returning on Sept. 16, 2003. While in Iraq the men were part of the 10th Platoon, 1st Force Reconnaissance Company. The unit suffered no casualties, and several of its members received Bronze Star medals.

Gunnery Sgt. Moki Lacad has already been to Iraq twice. The first time was with Kaneohe Bay's 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, which fought in the 1991 Gulf War to free Kuwait.

With 23 years as a Marine, Lacad, 42, is one of the more experienced members of the company. He said he tells his troopers "just to be prepared. Have confidence in your training. Have a lot of confidence in your fellow Marine."

Lacad, a 1981 Farrington High School graduate, said that being a Marine for more than two decades has taught him "to be ready to go -- 24/7."

Sgt. Armenio Salaguinto, 24, joined the Marines two weeks after graduating from Baldwin High School on Maui in 1999. He attended his monthly drills at Kaneohe Bay while attending Chaminade University, where he got a degree in criminal justice in 2004.

Although he has never been in combat, he said that he feels "confident because the guys I am going with are very capable."

Lance Cpl. Jason Dumlao, who works as a clerk at Kaneohe Bay's Navy Commissary, said he has been ready to go since he left boot camp in 2002. Dumlao, a 1995 Radford High School graduate, said he expected to be activated.

"Although my parents are worried," said Dumlao, who is 27 and single, "they support my actions."

The Kaneohe Marine Corps reservists are just a small portion of the 10,648 Marines already mobilized nationwide. The Pentagon reported this week that 168,425 National Guard members and reservists are serving on active duty: In addition to the Marines, the Army National Guard and Army Reserve account for 144,301; Naval Reserve, 3,415; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 9,468; and Coast Guard Reserve, 593.

Hawaii has an additional 2,200 soldiers belonging to the Army National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team serving in Iraq and Kuwait. They arrived in Iraq in late February for a year's tour.

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