Latest Salvo in Guard Cuts Fight:

National Guard Bureau officials have rolled out a statement highlighting the rise in Army Guard recruiting for the last three months of 2005, saying the Guard is working toward the Congressionally authorized end strength of 350,000—despite Pentagon plans to cut the Army Guard. The Pentagon wants to limit the ARNG to its present level of 333,000. The NGB did not comment on the state of Air Guard recruiting, which as we reported earlier, ended the year on a dismal note. Still, high retention has kept the ANG at 99 percent of its end strength. However, the Air Force has included Guardsmen in its plan to cut up to 50,000 personnel over the next five years.