Dan on the National Guard

Reader Dan sends along this article from Reuters:

MUSCATATUCK, Indiana (Reuters) – The National Guard is likely to see an unprecedented level of new funds to fix or replace equipment worn out in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that’s still not enough to make the force ready for homeland missions, its chief said.

“The president’s budget is unprecedented in the history of the Guard in providing money to the Army National Guard to reequip,” said Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

But still, it leaves equipment gaps, especially in the area of Humvees, trucks and other transport gear, that do not match the level of risk Blum said he sees.

“There’s a serious commitment to do this, but that still only takes us to a level I’d rather not talk about.”

three dots

According to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, state governors have on average about 56 percent of their Guard equipment available. If Congress approved funding the Bush administration requested for the next five years, equipment levels would be up to 76 percent, he said.

Historically, states have had about 70 percent of their authorized equipment, Gates told Congress last week.

Dan also sends along some questions…

Is there enough equipment at what level of replacement? And is it the right kind for disaster relief? Is 70% good enough for equipment? Is 56 percent enough? Is either too much? How do we know?