Friday, October 21, 2005
GAO: Iraq hampered Guard's response to Katrina
Army National Guard units have run into problems responding to domestic disasters like Hurricane Katrina because much of their equipment is in Iraq, according to a report released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office and Guard officials.
Guard officials believe the response to Hurricane Katrina "was more complicated because significant quantities of critical equipment such as satellite communications equipment, radios, trucks, helicopters and night-vision goggles were deployed to Iraq," the report said.
Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum acknowledged in his prepared remarks to the committee that current equipment levels "permit a response to domestic contingencies that falls short of our objectives."
As an example, Mark Allen, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau, said that some units deployed during Hurricane Katrina last month were unable to communicate by radio with active-duty soldiers because their tactical radios had been given to other Guard units headed for Iraq.
That sound you heard is Taranto sobbing.