September 22, 2004
FORSCOM chief wants to mobilize four Guard brigades
By Sean D. Naylor
Times staff writer
FORT BENNING, Ga. — Gen. Dan McNeill, the head of U.S. Army Forces Command, has recommended that another four National Guard brigades be mobilized and deployed as part of the war on terror.
McNeill, who commands all the conventional Army’s deployable units in the continental United States, made the announcement Tuesday in a speech to the annual Infantry Conference here.
“There’s the potential for at least four more National Guard brigades” to join the fight, he said. He added to his comments briefly during a roundtable discussion with three reporters.
“My recommendation is that we go with four more National Guard brigades,” he told the reporters.
McNeill declined to say where the brigades would be sent.
“Let’s just say we’d use them for the fight against terrorists,” he said. McNeill said that his intent was not for the brigades to be mobilized before the end of the year.
The four brigades recommended by McNeill would be in addition to three National Guard brigades currently training for deployment: the 116th Cavalry from Idaho, the 278th, from Tennessee, and the 256th Armored Brigade, from Louisiana.
Beyond that, McNeill wasn’t giving much away. He did not say whether his recommendation had been accepted. Asked whether the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) would be one of the four brigades on his list, McNeill demurred.
“Announcements have to be made from other places besides my headquarters,” he said.