The Department of Defense today confirmed the news about pending callups and deployments for eight National Guard brigades — including Washington’s 81st Brigade Combat Team.
These units are currently scheduled to begin deployment in the summer of 2008. They are receiving alert orders now in order to provide them the maximum time to complete their preparations. It also provides a greater measure of predictability for family members and flexibility for employers to plan for military service of their employees.
That said, the alert order the Washington Guard received last night still is only an alert, and not a mobilization order. Guard officials today said they don’t know yet when, or if, that follow on order will come.
But reading the Pentagon’s announcement it sure looks like it’s a when, not an if.
The DOD says the 81st will be one of four “security force brigades” that “will be assigned tasks which will assure freedom of movement and continuity of operations in the country. Those tasks will include base defense and route security in Iraq and Kuwait.”
Sounds very much like the brigade’s mission in 2003-04.
UPDATE: Trolling for reaction to the order, here’s a take by one veteran of the last deployment.