The Kansas City Star has a very disturbing front page story about how little equipment the National Guard in Kansas and Missouri has. The title of the story is
Empty garages tell of Guard's trouble
Guard units take equipment to Iraq and return without it.
The Star website does not have the above the fold picture of two Guardsmen in a Kansas City, Kansas repair garage for trucks that is completely empty.
The story echos what we got about how little equipment the Guard in Louisianna had for Katrina. There is speculation that the Guard in Kansas and Missouri may not be able to handle major tornado damage this summer.
It is interesting how the story relies on Governor Sebelius (D-Kansas) for the importance of the story.
"What happens when we have our next tornado and an engineering company doesn't have its frontloader?" Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said in a recent interview.
She wrote to Rumsfeld herself in December and raised the issue with President Bush when he visited Kansas in January.
"We're dealing with it," Sebelius said was how the president replied.
Missouri officials are not as worried. Although the state has shortages, Missouri National Guard spokeswoman Capt. Tammy Spicer said: "We're confident we could respond to any situation."
Do you think the response from Missouri is related to the fact that the Governor is a Republican?
Here is box of what equipment is on hand in Kansas and Missouri.
Nation Guard equipment on hand
National Guard units deployed to Iraq often leave equipment there when they return to the U.S. either because it's worn out or needed by other troops. The percentages below reflect the equipment Kansas and Missouri units have available for domestic use or if they were deployed overseas immediately.
■ 33 percent
■ Heavy transport trucks: 0 percent
■ Self-loading and unloading trucks: 20 percent
■ Night vision goggles: less than 10 percent
■ Bulldozers: 66 percent
■ Dump trucks: 66 percent
■ Bridge equipment: 4 percent
■ New cargo vehicles: 10 percent
■ Secure radios: 46 percent
■ Humvees: 52 percent
Source: The National Guards of Kansas and Missouri and U.S. Government Accountability Office
Another cost of fighting a war on the cheap.