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PENNSYLVANIA GUARD FORCE TO BE REDUCED

 PENNSYLVANIA GUARD FORCE TO BE REDUCED
 FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The federal


government has ordered Pennsylvania to eliminate about 700 Army National Guard positions this year, Maj. Gen. Gerald T. Sajer, state adjutant general, announced today.
 Sajer said he would meet with his advisers and unit commanders to determine the best way to carry out the federal mandate.
 The Army National Guard currently has 18,500 members in Pennsylvania.
 "We got off pretty well," Sajer observed. "That's a reflection of the high reputation Pennsylvania enjoys with national defense authorities. There had been rumors in the Guard community that more than 3,000 positions would be eliminated."
 Sajer was among several state adjutant generals who met with National Guard Bureau (NGB) officials Thursday to discuss implementation of Congressional-authorized cuts for the federal fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
 The U.S. Department of Defense originally proposed cuts of more than 46,000 for this fiscal year, but Congress reduced that figure to 26,000, allowing the NGB to set a final figure within 2 percent of the authorized reduction. The NGB settled on 24,000 in cuts.
 At the meeting held Thursday in North Carolina, Pennsylvania was told to eliminate the equivalent of one infantry battalion, approximately 700 officers and soldiers. However, the cuts could be spread over several units.
 Sajer noted that the cuts imposed are for this year alone, adding "We must be concerned about U.S. Defense Department cuts that will be requested in future years and how Congress reacts to those proposed cuts."
 Most of the Pennsylvania Army Guard's 18,500 members -- 15,000 -- are assigned to units of the 28th Division, the Keystone Division.
 Originally an infantry division, the 28th now is in the early stages of conversion to an armored division. That conversion is scheduled to be completed by September 1994.
 The Pennsylvania Air National Guard, with 4,945 authorized positions, is not affected by any cutbacks.
 /delval/
 -0- 1/17/92
 /CONTACT: Fred Walters of the Department of Military Affairs, 717-865-8720/ CO: Department of Military Affairs ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


CC -- PH019 -- 1146 01/17/92 17:02 EST
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Date:Jan 17, 1992
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