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2 State Guard Units Called in Readiness Test

October 25, 1987|From United Press International

RIVERSIDE — Two squadrons of the California Air National Guard were called to federal duty temporarily Saturday in a preliminary test of the nation's military readiness, authorities said.

The federalization of the 163rd Communication and 163rd Civil Engineer squadrons based at March Air Force Base near Riverside "in no way relates to the current international situation" in the Persian Gulf, Maj. Steve Mensik, a Guard spokesman, said.

Under federal law, the President has the authority to call to federal duty up to 200,000 military reservists and National Guard personnel without a declaration of a national emergency.

Mensik said federal call-ups have been made periodically over the years to test the readiness of reserve personnel to respond should an actual emergency exist.

Such a federalization is planned for sometime later this year, Mensik said.

The action this weekend, involving about 100 members of the two units, is a preliminary test aimed "at finding and correcting any problems for larger and later federalizations," he said.

Both squadrons will be released from federal duty at the close of duty hours this afternoon.

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