Equipment will be loaded and Army reservists will pack their gear today and Sunday during what is usually a routine monthly drill at the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion at West Mason and South Oneida streets.
But an official alert placing the unit on active duty for Bosnia last week sent reservists into last-minute stages of preparation. They’ll be at the unit all day today and most of Sunday.
“We’ll be loading equipment and going over team boxes,” said Lt. Col. Brian Kilgariff, commander of the 432nd. “Because of the first increment leaving Tuesday, they will be getting all the attention.”
While the unit has been preparing for possible deployment most of this year, reservists will be busy checking supplies and equipment, along with last minute details.
“The mood of the troop is very positive now that they have the official word to go,” Kilgariff said.
Beginning Tuesday, reservists will leave for Fort Bragg, N.C., in increments of four. Other groups will follow on Thursday; Monday, Jan. 22; and Monday, Feb. 5. Deployment to Bosnia will occur in the same way to allow initial ground troops time to occupy the terrain there.
While at Fort Bragg, reservists will train for the cold weather and land mines.
“The weather and land mines will be the largest dangers facing us in Bosnia,” Kilgariff said.
The unit will be among 20,000 U.S. troops and a larger NATO force in Bosnia to police the Bosnian peace accord. The mission may keep the 432nd from home for a year.
More than 95 members of the unit will report for active duty, with additional members from other units, for a total of 112.
By Julie Rossich
Green Bay Press-Gazette
December 30, 1995
|Unit Likely Going to Tuzla||Local 432nd Starts Moving Out Tuesday||Hardest Part: Leaving Family|