Sen. Alexander Writes Letter, Asking For Funds

Chattanooga (AP) - Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander has asked President Bush to include in his budget money to replace the Tennessee National Guard's gear.

More than 10,000 Tennessee Guard members have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. They've come home, but much of their equipment was left overseas for other military units to use. Some of it could eventually go to Iraqi Armed Forces.

Alexander wrote that re-equipping the National Guard is one of the biggest challenges the Defense Department has.

The Republican senior senator wrote that units now back in Tennessee don't have enough equipment to carry out responsibilities at home, including responding to natural disasters.

The commander of the 278th Regimental Combat Team says that unit left equipment including Bradley fighting vehicles, generators, trucks and Humvees when it returned stateside.

Colonel Jeff Holmes says his unit is getting monthly equipment updates.

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