Friday, March 02, 2007

Guard Comes up Short

Blizzards from the Great Lakes to upstate New York. Tornadoes ripping through the south. The National Guard is supposed to be there to help states deal with natural disasters.

But a Congressional commission reports that 88% of America's National Guard units are rated "not ready."

The big problem -- billions of dollars worth of shorfalls in equipment.

The Commission found Gulf States have only a fraction of the equipment they'd need to respond to another disaster like Hurricane Katrina.

They need trucks and Humvees that can operate in deep water after floods.

Louisianna reports not enough trucks.

Mississippi has to rely on contractors to supply them with trucks and heavy equipment.

What's happened to all their equipment? We've been telling you for months how National Guard units leave their equipment behind in Afghanistan and Iraq when they come home. The outfits that replace them need the equipment.

Back home, Washington's been slow to replace equipment for the National Guard.

The problem is catching up with them.

Lousianna's National Guard reports it could only handle the demands of a tropical storm or a Category 1 Hurricane. But beyond that, it'd be Katrina all over again. (WaPo)

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