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New Richmond Guard unit alerted for possible deployment

Wisconsin National Guardsmen who are members of the 32nd Infantry Brigade, including River Falls and New Richmond-based members of 1st Battalion, 1-128th Infantry, learned over the weekend they may be called up to another overseas deployment during the next year.

The general announcement came as some 3,200 soldiers in 34 Wisconsin communities gathered for training, said Lt. Col Jackie Guthrie. The notice isn't a firm commitment, rather, just an advisory that deployment to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (presumably Afghanistan) is possible as early as the fall of 2013.

Current Department of Defense policy calls for a 12-month mobilization, which includes nine months overseas. The total number of 32nd Brigade soldiers who may deploy is not known at this time, Guthrie said in a press release issued mid-morning Tuesday.

Reached by phone, Guthrie said she hadn't planned to issue a public announcement until she was contacted by a reporter Monday who'd apparently received incorrect information from a Guard member who'd trained over the weekend.

A "notification of sourcing" simply gives a unit advance warning that it has been identified for a deployment, which in turn allows additional time and federal funding for training. Notification of sourcing does not mean that the notified unit will definitely deploy.

The 32nd Brigade last deployed in 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The brigade performed multiple missions at numerous locations in Iraq, including base security and detainee operations.

The 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team is comprised of the following units from around Wisconsin: