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January 13, 2007

News of the Kansas Guard.

The surge washes across Kansas.

SOME KANSAS GUARDMEMBERS MAY STAY IN IRAQ LONGER TO SUPPORT GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM

President Bush's announcement regarding the need for additional troops in Iraq will impact Kansas National Guard soldiers. The U.S. Army's 1st Brigade, 34th Division may be needed to continue its missions in Iraq for an additional time of up to 125 days to help carry out the president's plan.

The 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, headquartered in Wichita, is attached to the 1st Brigade, 34th Division. The battalion was scheduled to return to Kansas in the spring of 2007. However, the change would likely mean a return in the summer of 2007.

"Our Guardsmen know there is always a possibility that they will be needed for additional missions or an extended timeframe and we appreciate the service they provide in protecting our nation," said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, Kansas adjutant general. "We know this means additional time away from their families and greater sacrifices for everyone involved. We will continue to support the families of the deployed soldiers and work to ensure the soldiers are brought home as soon as possible."

At this time, the announcement has not impacted other Kansas Guard units, however, additional information is expected in the coming weeks regarding other possible impacts.

The change for the 1st Brigade, 34th Division came about as a result of the Department of Defense implementing policy changes Thursday, Jan. 11, to better allow the military to succeed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The policy change will also affect the maximum mobilization time for members of the reserve forces. Currently, the policy is for a maximum mobilization time of 18 months. However, for soldiers being deployed in the future, this change will reduce the maximum mobilization timeframe to one year.

According to Department of Defense, the policy objective for involuntary mobilization of Guard/ Reserve units will remain a one-year mobilized to five-year demobilized ratio. However, a number of selected Guard/Reserve units may be remobilized sooner than the current policy goal. That deployment to demobilization ratio remains the goal of the department.

The policy change will also establish a new program to compensate individuals in both active and reserve component forces that are required to mobilize or deploy earlier than established policy goals of deployment to home station ratio times. It will also involve those service members who are required to extend beyond established rotation policy goals.

The policy change also directs commands to review their administration of the hardship waiver program to ensure that they have properly taken into account exceptional circumstances facing military families of deployed service members.

Comments on News of the Kansas Guard.
BillT briefed on January 13, 2007 09:34 PM

Buncha troops from the Jersey Guard will be remaining until August or so. Initial reaction among the families was, "WHAAAAT?!?"

Second reaction was, "Whaddya mean, you haven't told them yet?!?"

Big confab at the old 50th DivArty armory. Families were 99% pro the decision, which did not sit well with the CBS interviewer. Also downplayed was the conspicuous absence of combat patches 'mongst the staff types...

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