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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Guard unit ready to serve at home or away

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Sgt. First Class Jay Elliott speaks to members of the Clay County Optimist Club on Saturday at the American Legion Post in Brazil.

Sgt. 1st Class Jay Elliott, Readiness Noncommissioned Officer at Brazil National Guard, was introduced to the Breakfast Optimist Club in Brazil on Saturday by retired Army Sgt. Marion Eveland. The meeting was conducted at the American Legion Post on SR 59.

"I'm sure they're all looking for a call. They just don't know when they're going to get it," Eveland said.

The Brazil Armory provides transportation support to the 38th Battalion, carrying everything from ammunition, fuel, food, water, medical supplies, repair parts to any kind of equipment necessary to the mission.

"We are currently in Phase One, 'The Planning Stage' and we are always in the planning stage," Elliott said.

During this phase, administration makes sure all papers and forms are in order.

"Do they have insurance? Do they have current medical and dental records? Do they need shots, or glasses? Have they had a DNA test? Are they current on their training? There's just lots of stuff," Elliott said.

The next is Phase Two, or Alert, when soldiers are called to mobilize at their "home station." Then, he said, they go back to Phase One.

Phase Three. For the first three days, National Guard soldiers train at their home station. Lodging and meals are arranged for those living outside a 50-mile radius. On the fourth day, soldiers from this area go on to Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, Ind., where they will undergo more intensive training. On the fourth day, they move out.

An advance party has already set up and the soldiers may go with or without equipment, depending on the mission.

"Remember. Not all missions are overseas. The National Guard is called upon for Homeland Security as well. We help in disasters and many other missions within our country," Elliott said.

Indiana units have already been called upon to serve with airport security throughout the state. He said more than likely, none of our local National Guard personnel would go to Newport, Ind. Because it is close to home, a soldier might have too many personal concerns rather than putting the mission as the first priority.

"Since the recent event around the world have unfolded, has that changed recruiting?" asked Jim Tribble, Optimist member.

"It's been both positive and negative. Quite a few people joined after Sept. 11th. But most of that's all worn off now," Elliott said.

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