An Iowa Army National Guard unit has been alerted for possible federal active duty in Iraq. Guard spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Greg Hapgood, says the call has come for Company B of the 248 th Aviation Support Battalion The unit has 160 members which formerly was called Company D 109th Aviation, and is headquartered in Boone with subordinate units in Waterloo and Davenport. Hapgood says it’s a an aviation maintenance support unit which includes aircraft diagnostics, repair, maintenance, and testing. Hapgood says the alert is the first notice that the guardmembers will be heading overseas. He says the Department of Defense and National Guard Bureau have determined the unit will likely be mobilized, and they should prepare to go. Hapgood says it looks like the mobilization will be in June. Hapgood says the time it takes soldiers to get ready to deploy is based on a lot of things. Hapgood says it depends from unit to unit the amount of time, with key factors being the size of the unit and the amount of equipment they have to take with them. The Boone unit was previously mobilized in support of the global war on terror from November 2001 to November 2002, and again from February to December 2003. Hapgood says there are now Iowa Guardmembers serving in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Hapgood says," Pretty much our new normal in the Iowa National Guard is about a thousand soldiers and airmen at any one time that are somewhere in the world serving on active duty." Hapgood says the majority of the 1,000 Iowans on active duty are in Iraq.
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