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Report: Army Unit Is Not Prepared

March 29, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ One of the Army’s 10 active divisions has been downgraded to the second-lowest level of battle readiness due to a lack of training and personnel, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Citing unidentified Pentagon officials, the newspaper said the 3rd Infantry Division, based out of Fort Stewart, Ga., was downgraded because thousands of its soldiers have missed battle-readiness training while stationed overseas. Nearly 4,000 troops from the division have been serving as peacekeepers in Bosnia since October.

Maj. Gen. Walter Sharp, who commanded the 3rd Infantry Division, downgraded the division’s readiness rating to C-3. That means the division would need to prepare for weeks, if not months, if it was called up for wartime duty.

The Pentagon officials said the downgrading does not indicate the military is seriously impaired. But the move is likely to add to the debate in Congress over the deployment of military troops overseas.

Many members of Congress have called for less involvement of U.S. troops in peacekeeping missions. They say the missions are too costly and demoralizing for troops.

Congressional officials declined to comment to the Times on the downgrading of the 3rd Division.

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