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Hawaii Guard told to prepare for possible deployment

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The Hawaii Army National Guard has been notified to prepare its 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team for possible deployment to Afghanistan in 2013, the Guard announced.

Infantry battalions from Arizona and Guam that are attached to the 29th Brigade are part of the notice, called a “notification of sourcing,” Maj. Gen. Darryll D.M. Wong, state adjutant general, said in a news release yesterday.

The notification of sourcing does not constitute an official “alert,” mobilization or decision to deploy, the release said. The military uses it to notify a unit that it should prepare for a deployment. Until an actual “alert order” is approved by the Secretary of Defense, there is a possibility that the 29th IBCT will not be mobilized or deployed, the release said.

The soldiers from Hawaii, Arizona and Guam have been notified by their commands over the last several days, the release said.

The 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was first brought on active duty in 1968 during the Vietnam war. In 2004 the 29th spent a year in Iraq and Kuwait. In its most recent deployment, about 1,700 soldiers in the 29th spent 10 months in Kuwait, returning home in August 2009. The 29th logged nearly 2.2 million miles escorting convoys to bases in Iraq, averaging six to eight missions a day.

During the first Iraq deployment, only one soldier from Hawaii — Sgt. Deyson Cariaga — was killed in combat. But 17 other soldiers assigned to the brigade from other states and American Samoa lost their lives.

On the second combat deployment, there were no combat deaths. But three soldiers — Sgt. Julian Manglona, Spc. Cwislyn K. Walter and Spc. Casey L. Hills — died during training or in a vehicle accident.

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