Soldiers of Wisconsin’s largest National Guard unit have been notified they could be deployed next year.
The notice does not mean deployment is certain but gives units, including two based in Onalaska and Arcadia, advance warning and allows time and additional federal funding for training.
The location of the potential deployment has not been determined but would be within the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan.
The brigade’s 3,400 soldiers received notice over the weekend during regular drills. The number that may deploy is not known though it’s likely all units would be affected.
Current policy calls for 12-month mobilization, including nine months overseas.
The 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, known by its nickname the Red Arrow, is the largest unit of the Wisconsin National Guard and includes Arcadia’s Company C of the 128th Infantry battalion, with a detachment based in Onalaska, and Company A of the special troops battalion, also based in Onalaska.
The brigade was last called up in 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in what was the largest wartime deployment of Wisconsin’s Guard since World War II. About 200 area soldiers were involved in that deployment.
Company C also deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2005.