Tupelo Unit Called To Active Duty

Seventeen members of a Tupelo National Guard unit will report to active duty on June 7, officials said Friday.

Members of Detachment One, Company A, 628th Division Support Brigade will leave for Fort Dix, N.J., on June 10. The Guard said the join the 42nd Infantry Division of the New York Army National Guard for deployment overseas.

The 628th provides maintenance for various kinds of rotary aircraft. The Guard said the unit will support the 42nd Aviation Brigade while on active duty.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Harold Cross, adjutant general of the Mississippi Guard, told a Columbus civic club on Thursday that he expects the 155th Separate Armored Brigade to be called to active duty this summer.

The 155th is headquartered in Tupelo with units in Amory and Starkville. The 155th's headquarters has an authorized strength of 276 soldiers.

The 1st Battalion, 198th Armor Division in Amory has 501 soldiers and the 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery Division in Starkville has 607. Cross said about 1,250 Guard troops are currently mobilized and nearly 5,000 have been at one time or another since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"By this time next year, we could very easily have about 4,200 of our soldiers and airmen mobilized and forward in the United States Central Command's area of responsibility,'' Cross said.

Cross was appointed adjutant general in December 2003.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)