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National Guard Units Brace for Possible Cuts

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A proposal by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to shrink the Army National Guard by 20,000 soldiers and the Army reserve by 10,000 over the next few years has Iowa soldiers worried for their jobs.

The Iowa Army National Guard has 7,200 soldiers statewide.

The Des Moines Register reports spokesman Col. Gregory Hapgood Jr. says the worst-case scenario would mean a loss of 500 to 600 soldiers. Or there could be no cuts. He says the state's commanders are preparing for possible scenarios.

Gov. Terry Branstad, who commands the soldiers in peacetime, says Democratic and Republican governors are telling federal government not to cut the National Guard.

When not fighting war guard troops respond to natural disasters, such as floods and tornadoes.

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