Two more groups of Utah National Guard soldiers were called to active duty during the past week, bringing the total number of Utah's Guard and Reserve troops participating in Operation Desert Shield to about 1,900.
Fourteen Middle East language-speaking linguists from the 142nd Military Intelligence Battalion were among the first Utah soldiers to be called to active duty after Iraq invaded Kuwait Aug. 2, and 70 more linguists and 10 support personnel from the Bountiful-based company of the 142nd were notified beginning Thursday they are being called for 180 days of active duty. The Utah National Guard headquarters has not released information about when the linguists will leave the state or whether they will be sent to the Middle East.And members of the 151st Aerial Refueling Group at the Salt Lake airport have been flying their tankers to and from the middle east on a volunteer basis since Aug. 6. But elements of the 151st were put on alert Dec. 13 and called to active duty Thursday. Eight KC-135E aerial refueling tankers and 60 people in 12 air crews are affected by the call-up. The tankers' missions will be under the direction of the Strategic Air Command, but the group's working destination has not been released.
The Army Reserve's 328th General Hospital, which has its headquarters at Fort Douglas, was activated Dec. 6 and has been at a mobilization station at Fort Carson, Colo. The more than 700 members of the group left for duty stations in Germany, and possibly elsewhere in Europe and Saudi Arabia, on commercial charter jets Monday and Tuesday.