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Commander Of California National Guard Resigns Amid Allegations

Sacramento, CA — The commander of the California National Guard has resigned amid accusations that he failed to meet a Pentagon combat requirement and tried to arrange a flight on a military aircraft for members of a Republican group.

Major Gen. Thomas Eres resigned late Monday after questions were raised by the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times newspapers about whether he passed a required shooting-skills test before visiting troops in Iraq.

The papers also said Eres attempted to improperly provide a military flight for a Lincoln Club group, a partisan Republican organization, that wanted to travel last month to North American Aerospace Defense Command center in Colorado

Eres, 61, was appointed in March 2004 as leader of the nation´s largest National Guard force, which includes 22,000 troops, 13 bases and more than 100 armories.

In a resignation letter quoted by the news organizations, the two-star general said it was an “ideal time” to step down “so that my family and I can start to enjoy a much-anticipated retirement.”

Brigadier Gen. John Alexander, the guard´s second in command, has taken over the operation.