AMERICAN SAMOA ON EDGE OVER TROOP DEPLOYMENT

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (Samoa News, Oct. 22) - No "alert order" for deployment has been issued for the 100th Battalion, which includes reservists with local Charlie and Bravo companies, according to an Army Reserve spokesman.

Last Friday's announcement by the Pentagon that several National Guard units from across the country, including the 29th Brigade Combat Team, Hawaii National Guard, has worried some families of local reservists.

The 29th Brigade includes the Army Reserve's 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry covering Hawaii, American Samoa and Guam.

While the 29th Brigade's deployment in the summer of 2008 is to provide security for U.S. installations in Kuwait instead of Iraq, there are still concerns because of the hostile environment in that area.

"Are our soldiers being deployed or what?" asked a few local families, who contacted Samoa News, Friday and over the weekend. "Whether Kuwait or Iraq, they are still hot spots of the world."

Honolulu-based spokesperson for the Army Reserve, 1st Lt. Brian Melanephy told Samoa News on Saturday the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry has not been called.

"At this point there is no alert order for the 100th Battalion Soldiers in question," said Melanephy. "If they do receive an alert order, we would first inform the soldiers, the families and then the public."

"When rumors begin to swirl about possible deployments it is critical that family members and soldiers contact their Commanders for answers," he said.

Sources in Honolulu said over the weekend that there are several Samoans in the 29th Brigade Combat Team, Hawaii National Guard, but the total number was not immediately clear at press time.

Hawaii Guard commander Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee told reporters in Honolulu on Friday that about 2,000 Hawaii soldiers with the 29th Brigade will be deployed to Kuwait.

Lee also said he anticipates that the 100th Battalion team will be involved in the deployment but did not provide further details.

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