Alabama Troops Put On Alert By The Pentagon

Seven Alabama National Guard units with nearly 15-hundred members were placed on alert Thursday to prepare for possible mobilization in support of the war in Iraq.

Lieutenant Colonel Bob Horton, a guard spokesman, says the order came from the Defense Department ahead of the next rotation of units. The alert was issued as the Pentagon announced plans to send 85-thousand Army and Marine combat forces to Iraq early next year to relieve troops completing one-year tours. A total of 43-thousand National Guard and Reserve support troops were placed on alert nationwide.

The units affected in Alabama include: the 115th Signal Battalion in Florence, with 490 troops, the 711th Signal Battalion in Mobile, with 680 troops, the 1206th and 1209th Quartermaster Detachments in Wetumpka, with 50 members each, The 231st Military Police Battalion in Prattville, with 70 troops, Company F of the 131st Aviation Regiment in Birmingham, with 120 members, the 1303rd Engineer Team in New Brockton, with seven members.

Sixteen Alabama Guard units with about 21-hundred soldiers total are currently deployed in the Iraqi war.