Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, has approved the alert notifications of 4,228 Army, 1,290 Navy and 2,381 Air Force reservists for the second rotation of Operation Iraqi Freedom, bringing the total Guard and Reserve personnel alerted to 66,531, the Department of Defense has announced.
Rumsfeld also approved the mobilization of 9,900 Army, 1,290 Navy and 3,208 Air Force reservists, bringing the total of mobilized reservists to 56,504, and authorized the Maine Corps to deploy three more battalions with corresponding combat support units, as a result of further detail planning, bringing the total number of brigades to 14, according to DoD.
Alert notifications for Operation Enduring Freedom were also approved for 567 Army, 100 Marine Corps and five Air Force reserve component personnel, bringing the OEF reservist total to 4,603 for the fifth round, and after approving the mobilization of 2,955 Army, 100 Marine Corps and five Air Force reserve component personnel for OEF-5, the total guard and reserve personnel mobilized for OEF-5 rose to 6,906.
DoD said the announcement was intended to foster an orderly and systematic rotation of troops into and out of the central command areas of operations, and that the rotation is designed to allow for the maximum overlap between forces currently deployed and replacement units. It said that it wants to alert reserves early to provide predictability and give employers and family a sense of what to expect, and to mobilize as late as possible to ensure that training can be properly completed prior to deployment.
An earlier report by the General Accounting Office criticized the process by which nearly 300,000 National Guard and Reserves were mobilized and deployed in response to 9/11, calling it inefficient and in need of modification. GAO said lower priority units in need of additional training were mobilized with little warning, and that over 70,000 Reserves who were called had not completed their training requirements. DoD agreed with those findings (Get Document) and pledged to improve its mobilization procedures.
DoD will release information about units on active duty each Wednesday online.