An Encino-based unit of Marine Corps reservists will report for active duty next week in support of Operation Desert Shield.
Soldiers in the Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines, were ordered Friday to report Sunday to their Encino training center, Capt. Ron Corbin said. Corbin could not disclose the number of soldiers in the unit or where they eventually will be deployed.
The unit will be mobilized to support troops in Saudi Arabia as well as replacement personnel in the United States, he said. It is one of about three dozen units nationwide called to active duty and will be deployed for at least 120 days, Corbin said.
The unit, made up of men and women from Ventura to Santa Ana, provides support services for combat troops, including communications and transportation. Corbin said soldiers will first report to the Encino training center on Balboa Boulevard. They will be transported to Camp Pendleton and then on to their eventual assignments.
Corbin said the unit is made up largely of college students, but also includes police officers, firefighters and insurance salesmen.
The next week will be spent processing paperwork and answering questions. Most of the inquiries from Marine reservists and their families have focused on the logistics of deployment. Corbin said the soldiers have been preparing for activation since the Persian Gulf crisis began more than four months ago.
For his part, Corbin said he has been making financial arrangements with his wife. He is an engineer for Toyota and his company will make up the difference in salary for a month and continue to pay medical benefits for the next 90 days, he said.
One of the most difficult aspects of active duty, Corbin said, will be leaving behind his two sons, ages 6 and 22 months. On Friday, Corbin said he tried to explain his absence to his oldest son.
“He’s a little confused, but he understands that Daddy is going away for a while,” he said.