JEFFERSON CITY - September 13, 2001
The Pentagon announced plans to call up several thousand reservists to active duty in the next few days in what defense officials today said would likely mark the start of a much larger military mobilization in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist strikes.
The initial call-up will focus on reservists with "specialist skills", according to a senior military official. He said many of the extra personnel were necessary to support combat air patrols over major metropolitan areas instituted this week. They will fill out the ranks of pilots, aviation maintenance crews and air traffic controllers. The Pentagon has the authorization to call about 40,000 reservists, officials said.
By this afternoon, no Army Reserve assets controlled by the St. Louis Army Reserve Personnel Command had been called up. The personnel command is in charge of the nation's inactive reserve personnel. These soldiers are called according to their speciality in times of crisis and do not belong to a regular army unit.
Military officials said the platoon of 30 service members from the National Guard's 1137th Military Police Company, activated Tuesday afternoon to protect the National Guard Training Center in Jefferson City, was released from state duty today.
"We are still at a heightened level of security," said 2nd Lt. Tammy Spicer, a spokeswoman for the Missouri National Guard. "We don't anticipate any deployment."
Service members form Missouri may not have been called up, but they continue to train.
The sound of planes flying through the air could be heard in Columbia Wednesday night.
Spicer said a small number of F-15 fighter jets from the 131st Air National Guard Fighter Wing flew a "routine mission" out of Lambert Field in St. Louis Wednesday night. These tactical fighters carry a 20mm cannon and can be equipped with eight air-to-air missiles.
At Whiteman Air Force Base near Sedalia, home of the 509th Wing of B-2 Stealth bombers, military officials were tightlipped today about troop and equipment deployments.