Aberdeen Proving Ground to process personnel for gulf

October 12, 1994|By Bruce Reid | Bruce Reid,Sun Staff Writer

About 65 Army support personnel, most from installations outside Maryland, were to arrive at Aberdeen Proving Ground last night and early today to prepare for duty in the Middle East.

John Yaquiant, a proving ground spokesman, said officials were told yesterday morning to expect the logistics and maintenance personnel, all of whom are associated with the Army Materiel Command.

As with recent missions to Haiti and Rwanda, the Harford County installation will provide medical exams, issue clothing and other equipment, and offer legal advice to the civilians and soldiers.

Mr. Yaquiant said the personnel were to leave for the Persian Gulf region within two days, leaving from Langley Air Force Base in southeastern Virginia.

"These people going over are primarily going to support the off-loading of ships," Mr. Yaquiant said. "They are just going to be rushed through. This was a short-notice thing."

A small number of the personnel are attached to Army agencies at Aberdeen, Mr. Yaquiant said.

He said that he could not say how many Aberdeen-based personnel were among the group or what their duties are because their missions are classified.

Aberdeen, primarily a weapons-testing and research installation, is home to major Army agencies associated with chemical warfare defense and ground weapons used during the Persian Gulf war, including M1 tanks.

In addition to the 65, fewer than 30 members of an intelligence battalion based at Aberdeen are expected to leave for the Middle East within a week, Mr. Yaquiant said. Members of the battalion are experts in foreign weapons and equipment.

Aberdeen processed several thousand soldiers and civilians for duty during the gulf war.

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