New Nevada units authorized for duty, placed on alert

RENO - The Nevada flag is flying in another desert halfway around the world and additional Nevada guardsmen and women could be on their way there soon.

About 80 airmen from the 152nd Intelligence Squadron of the Nevada Air National Guard in Reno formally were authorized Monday to be called for active duty if needed, and another 100 soldiers from the 72nd Military Police in Las Vegas and Ely were placed on alert.

Some 40 members of the 1864th Transportation Company, Nevada Army National Guard, based in Henderson, arrived in Egypt at the end of last week to support NATO exercise Bright Star.

They landed in Jiyanklis, Egypt on Friday, then traveled two hours by bus to Mubarak Military City where they raised the American, Nevada and 1864th flags on Saturday.

No other troops have been deployed to the Middle East at this time.

''Everything has gone smoothly and we're being well taken care of,'' Capt. Shawn Casey, commander of the 1864th, said in a news release from Egypt.

''The major challenge so far on this mission is that the first supply ship has not arrived yet and because of that access to phones and computers is very limited.''

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the secretary of defense notified him Monday that 83 airmen from the 152nd Intelligence Squadron in Reno ''have been authorized to be called to active duty.''

Such authorization was required before the squadron could be deployed, Reid's press secretary Nathan Naylor said. It's the first Nevada-based unit to move to such status as a result of the terrorist attacks on the East Coast, Naylor said.

Also placed on alert Monday was the 72nd Military Police Unit of the Nevada Army National Guard.

''My thoughts and prayers go out to these brave servicemen and women and their famlies,'' Reid said.

Lt. April Conway, National Guard spokeswoman in Carson City, said neither the number of Las Vegas and Ely-based citizen-soldiers that could be activated as part of operation Noble Eagle nor their possible destination has been determined.

She said about 100 members of the 72nd Military Police Co. were notified to be ready for service. In the past, the unit has been sent to fire and flood scenes, guarded Saudi Arabia prisoner of war camps during the Gulf War and provided security during Year 2000 Millennium celebration.

One place they won't be guarding is Hoover Dam in Las Vegas.

The Nevada National Guard dropped a plan to assign 21 troops to traffic checkpoints near Hoover Dam.

Bureau of Reclamation police have been posted at the checkpoints since trucks, buses, recreational vehicles and vehicles towing trailers were banned from crossing the dam.

Officials said last week the guard would have been prevented by law from bearing arms against other Americans during the assignment.


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