Tuesday, May 23, 2006

National Guard - Competence

New slogan: Army National Guard: We're Damn Good, and No One Notices.
The National Guard had its headquarters for Katrina, not just a few peacekeeping troops, in what the media portrayed as the pit of Hell. Hell was one of the safest places to be in New Orleans, smelly as it was. The situation was always under control, not surprisingly because the people in control were always there.

From the Dome, the Louisiana Guard's main command ran at least 2,500 troops who rode out the storm inside the city, a dozen emergency shelters, 200-plus boats, dozens of high-water vehicles, 150 helicopters, and a triage and medical center that handled up to 5,000 patients (and delivered 7 babies). The Guard command headquarters also coordinated efforts of the police, firefighters and scores of volunteers after the storm knocked out local radio, as well as other regular military and other state Guard units.

Jack Harrison, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia, cited "10,244 sorties flown, 88,181 passengers moved, 18,834 cargo tons hauled, 17,411 saves" by air. Unlike the politicians, they had a working chain of command that commandeered more relief aid from other Guard units outside the state. From day one.

The cavalry wasn't late. It didn't arrive on Thursday smoking a cigar and cussing. It was there all along.Link

More at the link including that the Guard, at Jackson Barracks, noticing the flooding long before anyone else had a clue (water 20 feet deep around the Barracks might be hard to miss, granted) but then moved their headquarters to the Superdome. Restablishing com in four hours. Which in and of itself speaks volumes for their leadership and the excellence of their troopers.

The question in my mind is why the focus on the erronous reports of mayhem and the exclusion of the superb work done by the Guard and others?

via Jason Coleman
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