Utah Army National Guard members already in the Middle East will likely see their service extended another 90 days, but no additional Utah units have been put on notice.
"Involvement of Utah's Guard consists of the Utah Army Guard units already in the Persian Gulf and the volunteer Air Guard crews which continue their Des-ert Shield rotation," said Maj. Bob Nelson, spokesman for the Utah National Guard.Some 18 linguists with the 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion in Draper and the 14-member 120th Quartermaster Detachment from American Fork were called to active duty Aug. 24 and are still in the Persian Gulf. Their presidential call-up was for 90 days with an option of extending the call a second 90 days.
The initial 90-day call-up period ends two days after Thanksgiving. "I don't think there's any question they'll be renewed" for the additional 90 days, said Maj. Gen. John L. Matthews.
Matthews, the state adjutant general, told Gov. Norm Bangerter he plans to send a letter this week to family members of the soldiers already activated, telling them the "high probability of an extension" exists.
Pilots and flight crews from the Utah Air National Guard's 151st Air Refueling Group continue to serve voluntary assignments in the Middle East as they have done since shortly after Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait.
Other Utah National Guard units have modified their training plans in anticipation of a call-up, but as of Friday there was no indication that any additional Utah National Guard units would be activated as part of the 100,000-soldier call-up announced Thursday by President Bush, said Utah National Guard Spokesman Maj. Bob Nelson.
And a routine letter sent to Guard retirees has taken new significance with the military buildup in Saudi Arabia.
Lt. Col. Carmi McDougal made his retirement from the 151st Air Refueling Group final in April. "When I left I said `hey, there's peace now, the (Berlin) wall is down, it's going to be kind of a sluggish period.' "
He received a routine letter after he retired telling him to keep a uniform ready and stay physically fit in case he needed to be called back to service.
The Guard units activated included the 48th Infantry Brigade, mechanized, from Georgia, the 155th Armored Brigade from Mississippi, and the 256th Infantry Brigade, mechanized, assigned to the 5th Infantry Division which has not yet been activated for the Gulf conflict.