March 14, 2006 – Posted at 3:29 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- It's been confirmed that troops of the 875th Engineer Battalion have received alert orders, and could be mobilized soon.
The 875th has more than 450 authorized personnel and while they haven't been officially mobilized yet, many of those men and women could be spending the next 18 to 24 months overseas.
"The purpose of the alert order is so that our unit members can start making preparations in the event of a mobilization so they can have all their affairs in order at home before we have to go anywhere," said Major Michael Henderson.
Its likely that the call will be coming soon. Mobilization orders could be anywhere from three to six weeks away for the 875th Engineer Battalion.
"Everybody that's in the military now days, if you are wearing a uniform, it's pretty well common knowledge that at some point you are going to get a call to mobilize. So I think most of our soldiers have been preparing for this for a long time," said Major Henderson.
Aside from the 875th, approximately 1100 Arkansas National Guardsmen have been mobilized or are pending mobilization in support of the global war on terrorism. Although the battalion is a combat engineering outfit, its potential missions could involve retraining. Something units in Jonesboro, Paragould, Marked Tree and Harrisburg are preparing for.
"The types of things we are doing right now is we are looking at the personnel records, we're looking at our individual security clearances, we are looking at our insurance documentations, basically everything that a service member needs to have on file so that someone could take care of their business if they were have to go away," said Major Henderson.