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Kansas National Guard grows - but does it have enough equipment?

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Here are today's headlines about Kansas military matters:Kansas National Guard[(49News Topeka) More military muscle in Kansas:][1] The Base Realignment and Closure Commission, better known as BRACC, has been bad news for many states across the country, but the Commission's most recent decisions will mean more military muscle in the Sunflower State. "We're just pleased we've kept all of our jobs and we've kept all of our airmen. Anybody who wants to be in the Kansas Air National Guard has a bright future," explained Kansas Adjutant General Tod Bunting on Tuesday. Bunting says he's proud of his airmen, because they've just been charged with new responsibilities and the benefits that come along with it. The 190th Air Refueling Wing in Topeka will expand its operation from eight KC-135 aircraft to 12. The new aircraft will be a step up from the ones they're flying now. [(Salina Journal) Growth comes to National Guard range:][2] New jobs, a new building and training for more troops are ahead for the Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range west of Salina. The range, 10 miles west of Salina, is to be home for an Air Support Operations Squadron. The squadron, announced Tuesday, will allow training that will more closely tie air and ground operations on the battlefield. The plan is to meld the operations of the bomb range with the Salina-based Kansas National Guard Regional Training Center and the Fort Riley Army base. Plus, the runways of Salina Municipal Airport will support the training missions. [(49News Topeka) Governor pushes for Guard equipment Governor:][3] Kathleen Sebelius says she's not giving up on bringing Kansas National Guard Equipment back to the Sunflower State. Much of it has been damaged in combat or left overseas. The Governor, along with Kansas National Guard officials, has voiced concerns over whether the missing equipment would put Kansas at a disadvantage in the event of a state emergency. "The troops can't be trained on equipment that's missing. We can't be prepared to keep Kansans safe and secure on equipment that's missing. So it's something we'll continue to press with our Department of Defense," Sebelius said Wednesday. She also said all she's heard from the Department of Defense is that the state can expect to get about two-thirds of its equipment replaced within the next six years. She says that's not good enough.Fort Riley[(AP) Riley buildup to begin a year early:][4] The expected buildup of troops at Fort Riley will begin next year, a year ahead of schedule, as Army officials reorganize a key unit to help relieve troops stationed in Iraq. About 3,500 soldiers with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, will begin arriving at the base throughout the year, with about 1,400 of them bringing along their families. Lt. Col. Christian Kubik said Wednesday that although the timetable is changed, the base population is still expected to grow to 18,300 troops by 2011. About 1,500 of the base's 13,500 troops are training as part of transition teams in 60-day cycles for deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. [1]: www.49abcnews.com/news/2006/dec/19/more_military_muscle_kansas/ [2]: www.saljournal.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=9031&format=html [3]: www.49abcnews.com/news/2006/dec/20/governor_pushes_guard_equipment/ [4]: http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2437644.php

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