"When the troops get deployed, the equipment goes with them. So here in Kansas about 50 percent of our trucks are gone. We need trucks. We are missing Humvees, we're missing all kinds of equipment that could help us respond in this kind of emergency,"
"National Guard are our first responders. They don't have the equipment they need to come in, and it'll just make it that much slower," she said.
It turns out that these statements are not quite true as evidenced by a recent press release from the Department of Defense which read in part:
More than 300 members of the Kansas National Guard have been activated in response to a powerful tornado that almost destroyed the town of Greensburg, Kan., May 4.
Guard members are assisting in search-and-rescue efforts in the wake of the tornado, which was classified as an F-5, the highest rating given by the National Weather Service.
The tornado wiped out much of the small town, knocking out power, water, natural gas and communications. To date, 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries have been reported.
The Kansas National Guard’s 278th Sustainment Brigade has established a joint task force near the incident site. In addition to search-and-rescue efforts, the troops are working on power generation, logistical support, debris clearing, support to law enforcement, supporting establishment of shelters and distribution of food and water.Currently, the Kansas National Guard has 88 percent of its forces available, 60 percent of its Army Guard dual-use equipment on hand, and more than 85 percent of its Air Guard equipment on hand, said Randal Noller, public affairs officer for the National Guard Bureau.
Under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which is a national partnership agreement that allows state-to-state assistance during governor or federally declared emergencies, Kansas has more than 400,000 Guardsmen available to it, he pointed out. However, Kansas has not yet requested assistance from other states.
The National Guard Bureau has offered liaison, operational, communications, contracting, search-and-rescue, public affairs and community relations support, and is prepared to support the governor in any way possible, Noller said.
So it appears that Gov. Sebelius either lied or exaggerated about the readiness of the National Guard in her state or she has no clue what their status was and therefore shouldn't have made the earlier statement.
We all know the statement was made to score some political points about the Iraq theatre campaign and probably to try and cover the fact that her states Emergency Plan was not updated upon some of Kansas's National Guard equipment and men being deployed to Iraq.
The bottom line is that she knew well in advance of the Kansas unit's deployment and if she felt that the equipment being deployed with the Guard would be needed in the event of a disaster, then the States Emergency Management Plan should have been updated with contingency plans to deal with the void.
Judging from the Defense Department's Press release it appears that there are enough resources at the moment because she has not requested anymore. This whole scenario sounds like what Blanco and Nagin did during Katrina, blame everyone but themselves for the failed response of their own actions, when they did not properly activate their Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans.
Talk Show America 5/09/2007