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Minnesota lieutenant governor defends National Guard staffing

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: May 6, 2014 - 3:44 PM

For months national leaders have fought over proposals to cut National Guard staffing and on Tuesday Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon added her voice to the fight.

"We stand together in support to maintain Army Guard operational capabilities," Prettner Solon said a letter to President Obama she signed along with states' seconds-in-command from across the nation.

The debate over staffing levels has long raged. In February, all 50 states' governors signed a letter to Obama decrying the proposed cuts.

From a February Star Tribune piece about the debate:

"At its heart, the argument is about who will emerge victorious in a peacetime world. The active-duty Army now has about 540,000 soldiers and is scheduled to reduce its ranks to 490,00 by 2017. At the national level, the Guard's current troop levels of 350,000 could be reduced by sequestration and other cuts to 315,000 by 2017.

In Minnesota, that could mean the loss of about 1,000 positions in the National Guard's 13,000-member force. Leaders of the Minnesota National Guard warn that the consequences could hit some of the most visible aspects of the Guard's domestic mission."

Photo: Minnesota National Guard homecoming from an eight month deployment to Afghanistan/ source: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune.

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