Senators support extended duty for Iraq reservists - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Senators support extended duty for Iraq reservists

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September 10, 2003

(Washington-AP) -- While they support the theory, Senators Zell Miller and Saxby Chambliss said in a letter that they question whether such committment can be sustained without affecting the size of the military.

The two senators have become lead congressional boosters of the citizen soliders as co-chairmen of the Senate Reserve Caucus. They issued a joint statement yesterday saying that extending Army Guard and Reserve stays in Iraq to 12 months is a  "measured and responsible decision."

In a letter Monday, the senators also addressed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's announcement of last month that recommended the Department of Defense look at shifting missions from the reserves to the active force.

Rumsfeld has suggested a rebalancing of reserve and active forces, which could mean shifting reserve duties to active personnel. Such a proposal concerns Chambliss and Miller.

Instead, they suggested Rumsfeld might consider increasing the number of reserves so the men and women could rotate in and out of the assignments, getting them home faster.

posted at 11:10AM by dave.miller@walb.com