Thursday, April 21, 2005

Guard Leaders Discuss Budget Requests

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2005 – Funding for recruiting, retention and equipment were among the items National Guard leaders today brought before a Senate subcommittee examining budget requests today.

The administration is seeking approval for its $419.3 billion fiscal 2006 budget request and $81.9 billion fiscal 2005 supplemental budget request.

Army Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee that recruiting has been a “special challenge” for the National Guard, which, he added, “is not resourced for high levels of readiness that today’s environment demands.”

“We are a recruited force, so we’ve been scrambling to make sure we had the authorities and the resources to actually compete head to head in an environment where we’ve had to be an operational force,” he explained.

Blum noted that over half the Army’s combat power in Iraq today is comprised of Army National Guard units. He pointed out that eight of the Guard’s brigade combat teams are on the ground there, including the 42nd Infantry Division, the storied “Rainbow Division,” stationed in Baghdad.

He told the committee that Guard units in Iraq are “shouldering over half of the load and they are doing exceedingly well.”

read more at DefenseLINK News: Guard Leaders Discuss Budget Requests

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President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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