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Guard status still unsure

By By Chuck Bodiford
The rumor mill around town has been buzzing with words that strike fear into the hearts of people with a friend or family member in the local National Guard. It started when a letter was sent out to members of the local unit stating that summer training was being moved to next month in preparation for possible activation.
Lt. Col. Bob Horton, a Guard spokesman, stated, "At this time there is noofficial call-up of Alabama National Guard units." Horton confirmed Tuesday morning that there is training scheduled for the Atmore National Guard unit next month. The Alabama troops already in Iraq are deployed for 12-month intervals. Guard units have been there for about six to seven months. The training and preparation of Guard units is being implemented now so that if the Atmore National Guard were activated it would be better prepared and suited for what it would encounter in Iraq.
"If the Atmore National Guard received an official alert order, it would not necessarily mean the unit would be mobilized," Horton said. "It would mean the unit would need to start preparing for possible mobilization. Conducting training now gives the unit an advantage just in case they are alerted for possible activation. If and when additional Guard units are mobilized, the men and women of the Atmore unit will ready."