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300 Reservists at El Toro, Camp Pendleton Called to Active Duty


EL TORO — Nearly 300 reservists from helicopter squadrons at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station and Camp Pendleton were called to active duty Wednesday.

They will be transferred to Camp Lejeune, N.C., where they will join the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, according to Patricia V. Iets, a Marine Corps spokeswoman.

It was uncertain whether they will replace troops already shifted to the Persian Gulf or be deployed to the region themselves.

The latest units called up are Marine Attack Helicopter Squadron 775, comprising 95 members based at Camp Pendleton, and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764, with about 200 members based at El Toro.

The El Toro squadron has 12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, which transport troops and equipment. The Camp Pendleton reservists operate the Cobra attack helicopters and the Huey, used to transport personnel.

About 78,000 reservists have been ordered to active duty since Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, Army Lt. Col. Steve E. Roy said.

Meanwhile, 20 members of the House, including California Reps. Robert K. Dornan (R-Garden Grove) and Robert J. Lagomarsino (R-Ojai), plan to depart for the Middle East on Sunday to meet with military planners. The House members "will receive an on-site briefing on the disposition of U.S. military forces in the Persian Gulf area," said Paul Morrell, an aide to Dornan.

Times staff writer Robert W. Stewart, in Washington, contributed to this story.

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