Guard: Ready to serve

Published 2:53 am Monday, January 15, 2007

features writer
Local members of the 1165th Military Police Company are not sure how, or if, President Bush's plans to increase the number of troops in Iraq will affect them. But most of them said they are ready to do whatever their commanding officer wants them to do.
Officials have said there are no immediate plans to deploy more Alabama National Guard troops. The 1165th was deployed at the start of the war in 2003.
The current policy is not to deploy units more than once every four years, but that could change, said First Sgt. Wendell Richburg of the 1165th in Fairhope. Richburg is the headquarters unit readiness officer.
Members of the Guard are quick to point out that they support their commander in chief.
Sgt. Franklin &#8220Lonnie” Barnes, the training NCO of the Brewton unit, said he is ready to do whatever is needed.
Sgt. Robert Thomas, administrative sergeant at the Brewton National Guard Armory said he, too, is prepared for whatever is necessary.
The local unit has gone through some changes since they came back from Iraq. There have been some members who have dropped out of the unit, but there also have been several more to join.
The 1165th spent 14 months in Iraq, and last year the unit was honored with the highest awards a military unit can receive for their service and valor in Iraq.

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