Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Short-Staffed Patriot Unit Gets New Leader.(West Side Journal)

Byline: Miguel Navrot Journal Staff Writer

The New Mexico National Guard is welcoming two new commanders today. One of them will drill for a possible mission overseas; the other will fight for his group's survival.

Lt. Col. Norbert E. Archibeque begins his duty overseeing the 200th Air Defense Artillery's 2nd Battalion in Rio Rancho. The Patriot missile unit has done without needed equipment since its 1998 inception.

"This is going to be a defining moment," Archibeque said of the battalion, which also has a shortage of soldiers. About half of its 202 jobs aren't filled, despite Army Guard recruiting efforts.

Brig. Gen. Kenny Montoya, state adjutant general, said last month that the Patriot group must find needed equipment in the next couple of years or disband the battalion. …

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