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Guard unable to deal with 2 hurricanes
Strapped by war and equipment shortages, the National Guard will find it difficult to deal with two or more major hurricanes if they sweep ashore in different regions around the same time, Guard leaders say.
To counter equipment shortfalls caused largely by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Guard has borrowed more than $500 million worth of equipment from the active duty military to restock its units. Thousands of trucks, Humvees and other supplies have been shifted mostly from inland states' Guard units closer to where storms are more likely to strike.
Army and Air Guard officials also are spending at least $900 million on new communications equipment and hundreds of tractors and trucks.
But that may be too little, too late, for states warily watching the weather reports as the nation enters peak hurricane season.
The National Guard is organized, trained, and equipped to fight wars, not deal with natural disasters. They are not able to deal with that type of action. The leadership does not have the skills. The individual soldiers are not experienced or trained in it. Their equipment is not designed for it.
As a former firefighter I have worked extensively alongside the military and the national guard an am not impressed.
Natural disaster management requires a different set of knowledge, skills, and experience. Skills in military operations are not interchangeable with natural disasters.
The military helicopters are are not equipped to be useful (and their pilots are usually less skilled than their civilian pilot counterparts. I expect some flaming over that, but it's true).
Or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service teams sent to help deal with the alligators and water moccasins and other interesting creatures in peoples yards and in downtown streets? Of the Forest Service teams to help clear and rebuild rural roads? No, you didn't. The MSM was largely silent, instead focusing on New Orleans.