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Governor welcomes home Farragut 278th
Bredesen to fight Washington, DOD cutbacks aimed at Tennessee National Guard, 278th

Farragut resident Capt. Brian Austin of the 134th Air Refueling Wing supports the efforts of Gov. Phil Bredesen to protect the Tennessee National Guard from cutbacks proposed by the U.S. Department of Defense.

“I think the governor has done great things for this state,” Austin said.

Bredesen paid a visit to the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the Tennessee National Guard Tuesday, Jan. 31, in order to thank its members for their efforts.

During a short presentation to the troops, Bredesen told the men and women he intends to fight for them just as they fight for their country.

“You’ve all heard the talk in Washington of major reductions in troops as part of an ongoing restructuring of the Guard nationally,” he said. “The Pentagon is talking about changes that could mean the loss of at least ten percent of our Guard strength, millions of dollars in training money and, in the end, a critical loss of our ability to respond to disasters right here at home.”

He said the state’s ability to help its residents during natural disasters, such as the hurricanes that ravaged the Gulf Coast, depends on the preparedness of the National Guard to assist where needed. Troop depletion and fiscal cutbacks would be disastrous for the state.

Bredesen said these proposed changes are wrong for Tennessee and he intends to do everything in his power to “fight these changes.”

Austin said he appreciated the governor fighting for the men and women in uniform.

“What the governor outlined today was that the military has two battlefronts, both in the war on terrorism and on the home front,” he said. “I do appreciate his efforts for us.”

Major Jason Glass of the 228th Combat Communication Squad-ron, also a Farragut resident, wondered why the DOD was proposing such cuts.

“But I’m sure they have their reasons,” he said. “The times are changing, but the armed forces still remain a vital part of this country.”


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