California State Military Department
The California State Military Museum
Preserving California's Military Heritage
California and the Global War on Terrorism
Operation NOBLE EAGLE III
By Captain Alana Schwermer and Sergeant First Class Steve Payer
Headquarters, State Area Command
 
The following article originally appeared in the Summer 2003 is of The Grizzly
 
Smoke still rose from the rubble of what had been the World Trade Center Towers in Manhattan when President George Bush authorized a call-up of Reserve troops for Homeland Defense and Civil Support missions named Operation NOBLE EAGLE. Now, almost two years after the attacks that prompted the creation of NOBLE EAGLE, the 2nd Brigade, 40th Infantry Division has taken Command and Control of Fifth Army western base clusters in support of NOBLE EAGLE III.

The 2nd Brigade is in charge of seven “battalion clusters,” or about 3,500 personnel. Colonel John Harrel, Chief of Staff, for the 40th Infantry Division, said
that units assigned to NOBLE EAGLE I and II had to ask their base commanders for permission to attend military schools or to conduct training. “Under NOBLE EAGLE III, the military base commanders still have operational control of the units assigned to their installations,” Harrel said. “But the 2nd Brigade will organize the units’ schooling and training.”
 
The 132nd Engineer Battalion, the 1st Battalion, 149th Armor Regiment; the 1st Battalion, 185th Armor Regiment, the 870th Military Police Company, and several other California National Guard units, have been an integral part of NOBLE EAGLE I and II. The 1st Battalion, 185th Armor Regiment and the 1st Squadron, 18th Cavalry Regiment are the primary California National Guard units involved in NOBLE EAGLE III.

The California National Guard will now be the Command and Control Center for other National Guard units from Washington, Oregon, Texas, and several other states for NOBLE EAGLE III. In May 2003, 60 members of the 2nd Brigade of the 40th Infantry Division, based in Los Alamitos, were mobilized to serve as Command and Control of Operation NOBLE EAGLE III under the Fifth Army Headquarters, located at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. “They are an adjunct to the Fifth Army staff to work all the NOBLE EAGLE Forces,” said Colonel Jacob Van Goor, Director, Organization, Training, and Mobilization.

“Each site owns its own forces. They are doing administration and some training for all of the different sites. The unit on the site will be controlled by the installation.” The 2nd Brigade is Command and Control for western base clusters under Fifth Army. Base clusters are made up of units assigned to Fifth Army divided into geographic regions. The 2nd Brigade is supporting NOBLE EAGLE III through April 2004.

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