Congressman Concerned About Soldiers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/19/04

Congressman Concerned About Soldiers

Thousands of Mississippi National Guardsmen are just days away from wrapping up their training at Camp Shelby and moving out to the war zone.

More than 4,000 members of the 155th will receive a hero's send off next week and ship out early next year for a tour of duty in Iraq. Fourth District Congressman Gene Taylor will be among the thousands of supporters saying good-bye next week.

Taylor says he has serious concerns the 155th isn't well enough trained and equipped with radio signal jammers that insurgents use to detonate Improvised Explosive Devices.

"I regret because of a lack of jammers they're not getting enough training here in the states with them and they'll actually only be able to train with them in theater. And I remain convinced there aren't enough jammers," Taylor says.

Congressman Taylor goes on to say, "The number of jammers out there is a classified number. I've said publicly I think the only reason the number is classified is because if the American people knew how few of our vehicles are protected they'd be outraged. You can protect each vehicle for about 10 thousand dollars and we should be protecting every single vehicle over there."

Taylor has been a vocal critic of what he calls the Defense Department's failure to properly outfit military vehicles. He says the proper armor and technology could protect soldiers from deadly roadside bombs.

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