Arkansas National Guard unit may receive mobilization orders

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - A Jonesboro-based unit of the Arkansas National Guard could receive activation orders soon.

Members of the 875th Engineer Battalion have been alerted that they may receive orders in coming days to report to active duty.

Lieutenant Chris Heathscott, public affairs officer of the Arkansas Army National Guard, confirmed yesterday that the battalion has been alerted.

The alert process gives troops and their families time to prepare for any mobilization working its way through military channels.

Heathscott said troop requirements can quickly change, and alerts do not always lead to mobilizations.

The battalion has units in Harrisburg, Marked Tree and Paragould.

Heathscott said he would expect a mobilization order for the 875th to come within two weeks.

Members of the 875th have been called to active duty on two occasions since 2003. Last year troops helped in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In 2003 the battalion's A Company completed training for an overseas deployment, but the Pentagon directed the troops to serve a homeland security mission instead.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)