In an attempt to head off opposition to remobilizing Guard brigades, the Pentagon said it would reduce the length of time Guard units must serve if they are called up again. In previous deployments to Iraq, Guard members frequently were activated for as long as 18 months -- several months to organize and train, and at least a year in the war zone.
Under the new policy, Guard units would be mobilized for only a year, meaning they would probably spend nine or 10 months in Iraq. In addition, Pentagon officials said, Guard members would be paid extra if forced to deploy a second time before spending five years at home.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is reviewing its "hardship waiver program," in which members of the Guard and active-duty Army can avoid deployment if a repeat Iraq tour would cause their families exceptional difficulties. The review could lead to more such waivers.
Times staff writer Julian E. Barnes contributed to this report.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
The following military units were tapped to go to Iraq or had their terms extended:
2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne,
Ft. Bragg, N.C. (already en route to Kuwait, moving into Iraq
Minnesota National Guard brigade (was to come home in March, now coming home in August)
3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Twentynine Palms (was to come home in February, extended 60 to 90 days)
1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
(was to come home in February, extended 60 to 90 days)
15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Camp Pendleton (remaining
in Iraq 45 days longer)
Units leaving for Iraq two to three months early
4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Ft. Riley, Kan. (leaving for Iraq in early February)
3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Ft. Benning, Ga. (leaving in March)
4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Ft. Lewis, Wash. (leaving in April)
2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Ft. Stewart, Ga. (leaving in May)
Sources: Department of Defense,