Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Where is the Louisiana National Guard?

Let this stand for a meme I've seen in several places today.
Bush cut the budget for the army corps of engineers (needed to reinforce and expand the levees) by 40%...and now says give to the red cross, expecting private agencies to deal with it...while the Louisiana National Guard watch helplessly from Iraq.

Which would be a reasonable thing to say if the Guard really was 100% fully deployed to Iraq. Except that they are not. From the IP mail list today
From: Brock Meeks
Date: August 31, 2005 10:47:45 AM EDT
Subject: RE: [IP] isn't the Louisiana National Guard is needed at HOME?!

I did a story on this, Dave. The Guard troop strength in LA alone is at
65 percent of all guard members; 35 percent of them are in Iraq and are,
in fact, due home next month.

There are a total of 124,000 guard troops across 17 states either
activated or ready to be if needed.

Even with the heavy rotation into Iraq and Afghanistan, no state has
less than 50 percent of its total available guard enlistment available
at any one time. This was an agreement made with the Department of
Defense. And in fact, most states have 75 percent of their guard at

All this according to official deployment and enlistment figures
released by the Pentagon and in interviews with the National Guard.

In addition, regular military are now being mobilized (some 22,000 at
last count) to come and help with the effort.

Okay yes it bites to be deployed while things happen at home - I know this from experience. Guard members are volunteers, they are all adults, and they signed a contract. This is life and sometimes life is not fair.

Just doing my part to dispell fear, uncertainty and doubt.
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