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Major says guard unit received 'warning'

March 28, 2003|by TAMELA BAKER

Hagerstown-based Company A, 729th Maintenance Battalion of the Maryland National Guard has received a "warning" that members could be activated for homeland security duties, Maj. John Stevens said Thursday.

But no official orders had been received, he said, and added that calls to The Herald-Mail and other media saying the unit was being deployed were made without his knowledge "by someone pretending to be me."

National Guard spokesman Maj. Charles Kohler confirmed from his Baltimore office that "we have not received an order yet for (the unit) to be deployed." Citing security precautions, he would neither confirm nor deny that the unit had been put on alert.

"I can't state that we have this particular unit on alert status," Kohler said, but added there are "always warnings" that units may be deployed.

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He said members of the unit would participate in the Soldier Readiness Program "in the next couple of days."

Stevens said the Soldier Readiness Program is done on a regular basis to clean up personnel records and conduct medical screenings on Guard troops. He declined to say how many troops are in the unit, but said most would go through the screening.

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