More Nevada Guard Troops To Mobilize

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Nevada and Idaho will soon tie as states with the highest percentage of Army National Guard members on active duty, guard officials said.

Nearly 60 percent - or 1,180 - of Nevada's 1,964 guard members will be deployed by the middle of this month, according to the National Guard Bureau.

"You can imagine the hardship this places on families worrying about their husband or wife or son or daughter," Nevada Adjutant General Giles Vanderhoof said. "You can imagine the hardship from the loss of income from the civilian job."

With 185 soldiers now mobilized, Nevada is ranked 47th. But that will change with the deployment of units to Fort Lewis, Wash., and Fort Irwin, Calif., later this month.

The latest deployments are for 18 months to two years.

About 600 members of the 1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry headquartered in Las Vegas will leave Aug. 16 for duty at Fort Irwin.

Vanderhoof said the unit, with detachments in Fallon and Yerington, would be in California for at least a year of their deployment.

"This is one of the elite tank units, not just in the National Guard," he told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "Our guys are the enemy force that all these units have to fight against in very high-tech war games."

Henderson-based soldiers with the 1864th Transportation Co. also are being deployed this month.

"There are tremendous logistics in Kuwait and Iraq, and the 1864th is very highly qualified," Vanderhoof said. "The transportation unit is going right over in the middle of things."

Soon to be ranked behind Nevada and Idaho with the largest percentage of guard members on active duty are New Hampshire at 52 percent, New Jersey at 40 percent, and Louisiana, Arkansas and South Dakota each at 37 percent.

"It's a tough pill to swallow," said Capt. Neil Oscarson of the 1864th Transportation Co. "But it's our generation's turn to do what my father did in Vietnam and my grandfather in World War II."