460 soldiers from the Iowa Army National Guard have been put on standby status for active duty. The soldiers in the Guard’s Fort Dodge-based First Battalion, 194th Field Artillery have been told they may be sent into combat. The unit has “subordinate” posts in Storm Lake, Spencer, Algona, and Estherville that’re affected, too. The soldiers in the unit are equipped and trained to provide what the Guard calls “indirect fire” for infantry combat. The announcement from the Guard and the Department of Defense puts the soldiers on notice they may be called to active duty anytime within the next year, and once they’re called up, that duty can be extended another year.
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