216th to Guard Suspected Terrorists

July 17, 2003 - Posted at 8:23 a.m. CDT

Little Rock, Ark.  -- About 120 members of a West Memphis-based Arkansas National Guard unit are to deploy today for eventual duty at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. That's where the U-S is holding suspected terrorists dating back to the war in Afghanistan.

The 216th Military Police Guard Company is to first go to Fort Dix in New Jersey. In Cuba, they will help guard the prisoners.

Also, on August eleventh, ten members of the 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, based at North Little Rock are to leave for Fort Carson, Colorado, and then for Cuba.

The smaller detachment will help field questions from journalists about operations at the camp. The 216th has been on active duty since October fourth, longer than many other Arkansas National Guard units.

Until three weeks ago, it was supplementing the military police force at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Before they returned to Arkansas, the unit's members knew they were headed to Cuba. Both units are part of a rotation of National Guard and Reserve units in and out of Guantanamo Bay.

Copyright 2003.  Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.