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Critics: National Guard Unprepared for Iraq

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Critics: National Guard Unprepared for Iraq

The Impact of War

Critics: National Guard Unprepared for Iraq

Critics: National Guard Unprepared for Iraq

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As the National Guard faces the unprecedented demands of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, critics say its training and equipment are woefully inadequate.

Guard units only train one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer when they are at home. Critics say adding 90-day mobilization training is not enough to prepare troops for what could be two years of deployment in Iraq.

National Guardsmen practice crowd control in a mock Iraqi village during training exercises

National Guard members practice crowd control in a mock Iraqi village during training exercises at Camp Shelby in southern Mississippi. John McChesney, NPR hide caption

toggle caption John McChesney, NPR

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This is an organization of veterans of the Iraq war who are critical of the military but not of the war itself.

But Colonel Daniel Zajac, who is in charge of training at Camp Shelby, insists the U.S. military has corrected many of its shortcomings and changed its training as the war in Iraq has changed.

Zajac is particularly proud of the "theater immersion" training Guard members receive at Camp Shelby. Located in southern Mississippi, it is one of the nation's largest training bases for the Army National Guard. There, trainers try to simulate real battle conditions Guard members will face when they're deployed to Iraq.

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