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Guard, Reserve War Contributions 'Tremendous,' Says Franks

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2002 – The commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command praised the support provided by Guardsmen and reservists in the global war on terrorism.

Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks told House Armed Services Committee members Feb. 27 that reserve component troops in his area of operations which includes Afghanistan are making "tremendous" contributions to the anti-terror war effort.

The CENTCOM commander said he couldn't distinguish between reserve and active units during his inspections in his theater of operations.

"You can't tell them apart," Franks emphasized, adding that he also greatly depends on his Air Force, Army and Navy three-star commanders for quality-of-force evaluations.

Those commanders "have been in the region in face-to-face, day-to-day contact with forces, both active and reserve," Franks remarked, "and I use them as a thermometer to tell me the quality of the reserve forces that are being introduced" into the theater.

"We'll continue to be well served by these reserve component forces," he said.

The general noted that much of the U.S. military effort in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan involves the use of unconventional troops. Guard and reserve special operations troops "come trained and ready to do the work," he emphasized, like their active duty counterparts.

Additionally, as part of Operation Southern Watch, Franks noted, "We continue to fly both reservist and National Guard pilots up into Iraq, enforcing the sanctions against Iraq."

More than 79,000 Guard and reserve members have been mobilized for the war against global terrorism, according to a DoD news release.

"The use of these forces should continue," Franks told the House committee members.

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Related Sites:
AFPS News Article: Franks: 'Much Left to Be Done' In Afghanistan
Gen. Tommy Franks Prepared Statement to the House Armed Services Committee [link no longer available], Feb. 27, 2002

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