California and the Persian Gulf War
The California Army National Guard
Soldiers of the Maintenance Section, 1113th Transportation Company take a break outside their tent
The Department of the Army Federalized 12 California Army National Guard units and 1,259 soldiers for these operations. Ten units were deployed to Southwest Asia, one to Germany, and one to Fort Bliss, Texas.
Of the mobilized California Army Guard units, 100 percent deployed within 45 days of call-up. Fifty percent of the units deployed within 30 days and 8 percent within 20 days. A more meaningful readiness indicator is the number of days units needed to reach validation after arriving at their mobilization stations. This number is more realistic because units were often not deployed immediately after validation. Deployment from mobilization stations was often delayed for a variety of reasons: nonavailability of aircraft, awaiting sealift of equipment, or guidance from warfighting commanders-in-chief. Of the California Army Guard units mobilized, 25 percent were validated within 10 days, 50 percent within 20 days, and 25 percent within 30 days. The longer periods were due to the large quantities of trucks and equipment assigned to its units.
The 12 California Army National Guard units called to Active Duty performed a myriad of missions. Regardless of where they were assigned, California Army Guard units made important contributions to the overall success of the campaign. The following summary highlights the overseas locations and responsibilities of each of California Army National Guard units deployed during Desert Storm
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 143rd Military Police Battalion
The 143rd Military Police Battalion (Command and Control) was called into Federal service on January 14, 1990 and deployed to Southwest Asia on February 8, 1990. It was assigned to the 402nd EPW (Enemy Prisoner of War) Camp, 800th MP Brigade. The 143rd was responsible for eight MP companies (six guard and two escort), and had operational control of two other companies from the 185th MP Battalion. This made the 143rd the largest MP Battalion in the theater, with more than 1,300 MPs assigned. The 143rd returned home on May 25, 1991.
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 185th Military Police Battalion
The HHD, 185th Military Police Battalion, Pittsburg, California, mobilized on January 17, 1991 and was validated through its mobilization station at Fort Ord. The 185th deployed to Saudi Arabia on February 7, 1991 and was assigned to the 800th MP Brigade, 22nd Support Command. The unit was constituted as a combat support military police battalion, but was utilized as a command and control battalion. The 185th returned home on June 10, 1991.
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 185th Transportation Battalion
The HHD, 185th Transportation Battalion, Fresno, was mobilized on November 29, 1990. The advance detachment moved to the Fort Ord Mobilization Station on November 30, 1990, and the main body followed on December 5, 1990. On January 4, 1991, the 47-soldier unit deployed by air to Southwest Asia and was assigned to the 22nd Support Command. The 185th controlled five medium truck companies which compiled a total of 825,025,158 ton-miles during operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. The unit returned home on July 6, 1991. The Battalion was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Steve Chambers.
224th Transportation Detachment
The 224th Transportation Detachment (Movement Control), the smallest unit in the California National Guard, was a four-soldier detachment. Essentially a traffic control unit, the 224th was activated on September 21, 1990 and deployed to Saudi Arabia on October 3, 1990. The 224th was assigned to the 330th Movement Control Center, I st Corp Support Command (Airborne) and operated on various main supply routes. The unit regulated and controlled highway traffic within the forward combat area. While performing this mission, the unit was required to conduct operations forward of major combat units. The 224th returned home on April 21, 1991. The Detachment was commanded by Captain Margarita Perez.
270th Military Police Company
The 270th Military Police Company, Sacramento, California, mobilized on December 6, 1990 and deployed to its mobilization station on December 10, 1990. The 270th was validated on December 21, 1990 and deployed to Saudi Arabia on January 19, 1991 with 141 soldiers. The unit deployed into Dhaharan Royal Saudi Air Force Base where it was assigned to the 210th Military Police Battalion, 89th Minitary Police Brigade and provided security inside the airbase as well as mobile security. The unit returned home on June 3, 1991.
649th Military Police Company
The 649th Military Police Company (Camp San Luis Obispo and Alameda, California), was called into Federal service on January 3, 1990. It conducted its mobilization validation training at Fort Ord and deployed to Southwest Asia on February 3, 1990. The company moved to Hafar al Batin to conduct enemy prisoners of war operations at the 402nd EPW Camp, assigned to the 143rd MP Battalion, 800th MP Brigade. The unit returned home on May 25, 1991.
970th Military Police Company
The 970th Military Police Company, from San Mateo and San Rafael, was mobilized on December 6, 1990 and moved to its mobilization station at Fort Ord for validation. On January 9, 1991, the 970th deployed to Saudi Arabia where it was assigned to the 403rd EPW Camp, 143rd MP Battalion, California Army National Guard. Prior to the beginning of the Allied ground offensive, the 970th provided exterior security for the EPW Processing Center, 403rd MP Camp. The unit also relieved each of the Guard companies and provided exterior security for the EPW main compound enclosures. During its deployment, the 970th conducted several EPW transport missions, moving prisoners between the 401 st and 403rd EPW Processing Centers.
980th Medical Unit (Supply, Optical and Maintenance) (MEDSOM)
The 980th MEDSOM, a Sacramento unit, was Federalized on December 6, 1990. The advance party reported to the Fort Ord Mobilization Station on December 9, 1990 with the unit's main body and equipment following two days later.
The 980th arrived in Saudi Arabia on December 28, 1990 and began joint operations with the 47th MEDSOM, a III Corps Active Component unit from Fort Hood, Texas.
The unit's contributions were wide and varied and included the following: Supplying 50 major theater medical units and 550 different customers, processing more than 300,000 customer requests, controlling $66 million of medical supplies, maintaining more than 4,200 different medical items, the issuing of $7 million of controlled substances, shipping more than 20,000 pallets, fabricating more than 48,000 corrective lenses, performing more than 1,800 eye examinations, and providing medical supplies to Kurdish, Kuwaiti, and Iraqi refugees.
The unit was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Gidley
1113th Transportation Company
The 1113th Transportation Company, Sacramento, was mobilized for Federal service on September 27, 1990. After training at Fort Ord, it departed from Travis Air Force Base and arrived at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on November 3, 1990. The unit was assigned to the 1st Area Support Group, 22nd Support Command.
During Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the 1113th drove over 1.7 million miles and delivered more than one million tons of cargo, including equipment required for the peace talks in Iraq. The 1113th was welcomed home on May 11, 1991.
The company was lead by Captain Larry Smith and First Sergeant John Scriven.
2668th Transportation Company
The 2668th Transportation Company, Fresno, California, was mobilized on September 20, 1990 with 129 personnel. The unit arrived in Saudi Arabia on November 3, 1990. During Desert Shield, the unit transported 20,730 tons of cargo, moved 13,467 personnel and drove 524,264 accident-free miles. During Desert Storm, the unit drove 337,861 accident-free miles. The 2668th Transportation Company returned home on April 25, 1991.
The company was commanded by Captain Janette Jackson
870th Military Police Company
The 870th Military Police Company, with armories in Pittsburg and Placerville California was mobilized December 6, 1990 and was
validated at the Presidio of San Francisco.on December 21, 1990, the 150-soldier unit deployed to Germany and replaced the 66th MP Company that deployed to Southwest Asia. The company was assigned to the 21st Theater Army Area Command and was based at Karlsruhe, near the French border in the German state of Baden-Wurttemburg. The 870th provided security at the North Sea port of Bremerhaven and for ammunition trains in France. The unit returned to Travis Air Force Base in May 1991 traveling in two increments. The 870th was released from active duty at home station on May 16th and June 8, 1991.
126th Medical Company (Air Ambulance)
The 126th Medical Company, headquartered at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento, was mobilized in November 1990 and deployed to Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
The Air Ambulance unit provided evacuation support to military installations and surrounding communities. During its deployment, the 126th Medical Company supported U.S. Army operations in Honduras. Three aircrew members of the 126th Medical company were killed when their helicopter crashed while on a night medical evacuation mission in mountainous terrain. The 126th returned to its home at Mather Air Force Base on July 3, 1991.
Captains Janette Jackson (2668th Transportation Company) and Margarita Perez (224th Transportation Detachment ) upon their return to California.


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Updated 8 February 2016