ANCHORAGE -

After nearly 72 years of consecutive service, the 793rd Military Police Battalion will be inactivated on Thursday.

Thursday's ceremony is part of a continued trend throughout the Army, which earlier this year announced the decline and reorganization of its active component force structure to 490,000, an overall reduction of 80,000 soldiers.

Since 1942, the 793rd has conducted security operations on the famous Red Ball Express during World War II, evacuated thousands of refugees from Iraq to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm, and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

According to a Tuesday press release from U.S. Army Alaska spokesperson John Pennell, Of the battalion's sub-units, Headquarters Detachment, 793rd MP Battalion; the 164th Military Police Company and the 472rd Military Police Company will officially inactivate Sept. 15.

This is the third unit from the 793rd to be inactivated this year. In July, 545th MP and the 28th MP Detachment were transferred.

"In the Army, if we ever need them we can reach out and pull those units back," Pennell said. "The soldiers themselves will either transfer to other positions where the Army needs them around the military, some of them will stay here in Alaska and just move to different units, and some of the soldiers will end their service with the military."

Two ceremonies will be held Thursday. The first will be a memorial ceremony starting at 9 a.m. to honor seven 793rd soldiers who gave their lives during the Global War on Terrorism.  The second ceremony, an inactivation ceremony, will take place at 1 p.m.

Editor's note: An initial reference to the 80,000 soldiers in the Army force reduction as "Alaskan-based" has been corrected.