By SUSANNE M. SCHAFER
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Pentagon budget plan to strip the Army National Guard's Apache attack helicopters from America's citizen-soldiers doesn't sit well with the newly-retired South Carolina National Guard general who commanded a chopper battalion and flew them for more than 1,500 hours.
Maj. Gen. Lester Eisner just retired from his post as the state's No. 2 military man and he says the proposal doesn't make sense.
The two-star general says the Army's plan to strip the choppers from Guard units in eight states would harm the both the active duty Army and its backup forces in the Guard.
The move takes out a unit that has deployed to Iraq, Kuwait and Bosnia. Eisner says the unit has proven itself in battle and peacetime, and done it more cheaply than full-time Army units.