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Kan. National Guard marks tank engine milestone

FORT RILEY, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas National Guard officials are marking a milestone for a unit that rebuilds tank engines for the U.S. military and foreign customers.

The Advanced Turbine Engine Army Maintenance unit, known as the ATEAM, held a ceremony Thursday to celebrate completion of the 1,000th tank engine rebuilt at the unit's Fort Riley facilities.

The program began 14 years ago and is responsible for rebuilding turbine engines used in the Army's main battle tank. Other customers of the unit include Saudi Arabia.

Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli said the ATEAM has saved taxpayers millions by rebuilding the engines each year instead of having them replaced at a higher cost.

The unit employs 120 Army and Kansas National Guard soldiers with a payroll of $8.3 million.