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Twelve firefighters assigned to the 107th Fighter Interceptor Group at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base have been called up as part of Operation Desert Shield in the Persian Gulf and will be assigned to an air base in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Lt. Col. Stephen Kaplan, a spokesman for the New York Air National Guard unit, said the call-up is one of several in which unit members help at other American bases involved in Desert Shield.

Kaplan denied rumors that the 1,000-member group itself has been called up. He said the unit is undergoing a major conversion from the F-4 fighter plane to the F-16 over the next 10 months to a year.

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