The Department of the Army today joined the Department of Defense in announcing May 19 the alert of four Army National Guard Brigade Combat Teams for planned rotations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

More than 14,000 Army National Guard Soldiers are being notified by the Army to prepare for deployment to Iraq in 2009. These units are being informed in advance to provide them the opportunity to plan, conduct world-class training, and to provide some degree of predictability for the Citizen-Soldiers, their Families and their respective employers.

The 72nd Brigade Combat Team, Texas National Guard traces its lineage and honors back to the first iteration of the 36th Infantry Division, which was originally organized at Camp Bowie (Fort Worth), TX, on 18 July 1917, and which drew from units of the Texas and Oklahoma National Guard. The 72nd Brigade Combat Team includes Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 72nd Brigade; the 536th Forward Support Battalion; and the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 141st Infantry Regiment.

2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division (Iron Soldiers), Pennsylvania National Guard was formed in April 1963, it was made up of units which trace their lineage back to the "Fighting Tenth" Infantry Regiment of 1873. Some units within the Brigade predate the Civil War. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq in 2005. They operated in Al Anbar Province in the heart of the "Sunni Triangle." They had a U.S. Marine battalion and an Active U.S. Army battalion attached to them as well as an entire brigade of the Iraqi Army. 2nd Brigade returned home June of 2006

The 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Tiger Brigade), of the Louisiana Army National Guard, was until 2006 a "heavy" brigade that consisted of two mechanized infantry battalions (2nd & 3rd Battalions, 156th Infantry Regiments), one armor (1st Battalion, 156th Armor Regiment), one combat engineer battalion (1088th Engineers), one support Battalion (199th Brigade Support Battalion), a self-propelled artillery battalion (1st Battalion, 141st Artillery Regiment), Headquarters Company 256th and 256th Military Intelligence Company. As of September 2006, the 256th Brigade transitioned from a mechanized to a light configuration of two infantry battalions, a battalion of towed artillery, a Brigade Special Troops Battalion, and one cavalry squadron for reconnaissance. They retained their Brigade Support Battalion and the Brigade Headquarters Company. The 256th Brigade was still deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom when Hurricane Katrina struck the Louisiana coast and returned days prior to Hurricane Rita's landfall in Southwest Louisiana. The brigade was activated for state duty immediately following its release from active duty and helped with security, rescue, and reconstruction work throughout all of south Louisiana. Much of the brigade remained on duty for almost five months after returning from Iraq. Many 256th Soldiers are still on state active duty in New Orleans, "Task Force Gator," serving as a supplemental force to the New Orleans Police Department.

278th Brigade Combat Team (I Volunteer, Sir) Tennessee National Guard history began before the American Revolution when local militia units formed throughout communities in East Tennessee. These units were organized to protect the early settlers in Tennessee from the Creek and Cherokee Indians who often raided settlements in East Tennessee. Once these militia units were formed, the Indian raids generally subsided and life on the Tennessee frontier settled down. The 278th ACR deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III (2004-2005) from late December 2004 until OCT 2005. The regiment operated along the Iranian border in the Diyala Province centered southeast of Baquba, Balad Ruz being the nearest town.

The National Guard has responded to every call for forces, already having mobilized more than 285,000 Soldiers. Each time the National Guard has been called upon, they have responded with proven and capable warriors. These outstanding Citizen-Soldiers, their Family members and employers continue to make great sacrifices for our country and they acknowledge and appreciate the continued support of the American people.

The case-by-case selection of Army National Guard forces honors worldwide commitments and provides combatant commanders the forces they need to maintain the current momentum in support of operations in Iraq.

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Media questions specific to the units being alerted should be referred to their unit public affairs officers. For more information, contact Lt. Col. Lee M. Packnett at (703) 614-2487.