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Schumer: 105th Military Police Unit Will Leave Iraq In Early May & Be Officially Demobilized June 17

Unit based at Masten Avenue Armory in Buffalo was activated in February, 2003 and has been in Iraq since June; They were supposed to return next month but were told this week that their stay had been extended

With families of the soldiers concerned that the stay had been extended indefinitely, Schumer pressed the Army today for a firm date for their return home

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that he has received assurances from the Army that the 105th Military Police unit currently in Iraq will leave Iraq in early May and that its service will be complete June 17. The unit, based at the Masten Avenue Armory in Buffalo, was to return home in April but was told this week that its stay has been extended. With their families concerned that the stay had been extended indefinitely, Schumer today called the Army and demanded a firm date for which the men and women and their families can expect them to return home.

"For these men and women to have been away from their families for over a year, look forward to an April return, and then be told they have to stay even longer and not know when they're returning would have been unacceptable," Schumer said. "I'm glad they now have a specific date that they and their families can plan around. We're proud of the service these men and women have performed for our country and the good news is they'll be home soon."

Schumer today spoke with Brigadier General Guy Swan, Chief of Legislative Liasion for the Army, to press for a firm date for when the men and women of the 105th MP and their families could expect their return. General Swan told him that the unit being trained at Ft. Dix to replace the 105th MP has been delayed by about 2 weeks. As a result, the stay of the 105th has been extended by 16 days to May 4th. This means that the unit will be leaving Iraq on May 4th plus or minus 45 days for transport scheduling. In addition, the 105th will be demobilized and their service deemed complete on June 17. The interim between May and June will be spent at an Army facility, most likely either Ft. Dix or Ft. Drum, for debriefing, Gen. Swan said.

The approximately 170 men and women of the 105th MP were activated in February of 2003, trained at Ft. Polk, and arrived in Iraq in June of 2003.