Guard is short of arms, gear
Officials say this hurts training of Virginia troops for active duty
BY PETER BACQUE
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Apr 6, 2007
The Virginia Army National Guard does not have the weapons and equipment it needs to prepare its soldiers to go to war overseas.
Virginia's problem is temporary, expected to last a year or less, and the Army will make sure state guardsmen are trained properly before they deploy to combat zones, said Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman Jr., the state's top military officer.
But because of changes in the U.S. military's deployment policy, time spent on training in the United States after Guard troops are mobilized for active duty will reduce the amount of time the soldiers are putting their boots on the battlefield.
That is inefficient, Guard officers said.
"These guys need to train on the equipment they're going to fight with," Newman said.