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Stars and Stripes reports that “some Army National Guard and Reserve units will pair directly with active-duty units beginning in the summer to integrate the part-time soldiers into the regular Army to prepare them better for combat, the Army announced Tuesday.”

“The pilot program, called Associated Units, will establish formal relationships between the reserve and active components, allowing units to train and eventually deploy together, said Maj. Olivia Nunn, an Army spokeswoman.”

“The active Army is set to shrink to 450,000 soldiers by the end of next year, yet demands for soldiers around the world continue to rise. As of February, the Army had 190,000 soldiers deployed to about 140 countries, according to information in the service’s 2017 budget. It has forced the Army to rely “more heavily” on National Guardsmen and reservists “to meet the demands of a complex global environment,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.”

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