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National Guard Responds Swiftly to Katrina

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Despite deployment of some guardsmen to Iraq and the difficulty of mobilizing part-time soldiers, the National Guard forces of the gulf states have responded quickly and efficiently to the hurricane crisis in Louisiana.

Before the storm hit there were already 6200 National Guardsmen deployed in Louisiana from Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Missiassippi and Florida. Additional troops arrived in the immediate aftermath of the storm, bringing the total deployed to over 11,000. This is in addition to 7200 regular troops already deployed mostly from the Navy. 10,000 more guardsmen are expected to arrive in the next two days.

Concerns about a shortage of guardsmen because of deployments to Iraq have proven to be unfounded. Of 437,000 guardsmen nationwide only 17% are currently serving in Iraq and 78% of state guard forces are available at any given time for deployment nationwide. That includes large numbers of troops in the gulf states. As an operating standard all state guards are required to have at least 50% of their forces available for local deployment, and despite the fact that they have sent more troops to Iraq than northern states, all of the gulf states have 65% or more of their forces available.

So far 1700 guardsmen have been called in from Mississippi, 3600 from Louisiana and 1000 from Alabama. Texas and Florida have sent hurricane specialists with lots of experience dealing with this sort of disaster. This includes a special 90-man regional task force from Texas which brings with it special logistics and transport units, food distribution facilities and air support in the form of helicopters and cargo planes for bringing in supplies. Texas is also sending medics, doctors, game wardens and ambulances. Small numbers of specialized guard units, especially air support forces, are coming from much farther away, including California and New York.

If more men are needed, most of the gulf states have kept at least a third of their guard forces in reserve, including 3000 in Louisiana. Texas which has sent relatively few men but lots of materials and specialists, still has over 20,000 guardsmen available and not very far away should they be called for.

Because of its location away from the path of the storm, Texas has played a particularly large role in accomodating those fleeing from Katrina, with a dozen special refugee centers set up in the eastern part of the state, including one in the Astrodome in Houston, as well as lots of available hotel space in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin. Schools in Houston and office are providing temporary shelter and many private citizens are also welcoming guests from Louisiana into their homes in Texas.

The best way that most of us can help out is through donations to appropriate charities. Stick with cash donations because clothing and other mateirals will not be of any immediate use. The most efficient and reliable place to send your donations is probably The Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and you can either donate through their website or by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW.

For more information on guard deployments see News 8 Austin, The Shreveport Times, GX Intel, Guard Experience and The Houston Chronicle.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    Hold on … FACTS … in a POLITICS POST? Without any CONSPIRACY THEORY attached to it?

    (Checks pulse)

    Wow, I’m amazed. And here I thought the flood of water and waste should have flown into the Blogcritics politics thread by now, washing it and its destructive bickering away into the depths of humanity.

    Maybe a little too late to redeem my faith in this BC section, but well done nonetheless Dave.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Well, after reading the first slew of political gibbering that came out in the wake of Katrina I thought I ought to at least set the facts straight on how the national guard is being deployed in the emergency, since that seemed to be an area where a lot of vitriol and very little information was being disseminated.

    Dave

  • Georgio

    Despite deployment of some guardsmen to Iraq and the difficulty of mobilizing part-time soldiers, the National Guard forces of the gulf states have responded quickly and efficiently to the hurricane crisis in Louisiana>>>>>> WHAT UTTER BULLSHIT DAVE…..have you been watching CNN..today is Thursday and they are just getting there now..hell they got to Bagdad faster…ppl are on CNN this very moment and they are all saying the same thing..THEY DON’T SEE ANY TROOPS…I repeat this is Thursday..I don’t care what you say but they should have been there within hrs of this disaster not 3 days later..

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Georgio, your statements are untrue. 6200 guardsmen were already deployed and active in the area BEFORE the storm reached NO. The ones who are getting there today are the 10,000 who make up the THIRD wave of troops.

    And CNN is looking in the wrong place if they aren’t seeing them. They should be looking upriver where they are doing flood control work, or in the shelters where they are guarding refugees, or perhaps wherever Fox News is looking, since they’re showing armed partrols of national guardsmen on the streets of New Orleans.

    CNN may be doing a poor job of reporting, but the facts are the facts.

    Dave

  • Georgio

    no Dave this time you have the wrong facts ..and watching Fox won’t help you ..pick a ch that does not play politics…from General Honoreys own mouth when asked what took you so long his answer was “we failed to recognize the worst senario”…

  • http://bulldogpolitics.blogspot.com/ The Bulldog Manifesto

    Are your eyes closed to everything Dave? First the 500,000 tons of Yellowcake, now this? Are you living in complete denial or what?

    Sorry dude, ask even the conservative reporters who are in NEw Orleans. The National Guard has done very little so far.

    New Orleans isa cluster fuck of ineptitude Dave. There isnt even a command and control unit set up yet, and you’re sitting here typing into your computer about the success of the National Guard. If it weren’t so pathertic, I’d think it was funny.

    While you pat your President on the back (again!), rats are consuming corpses on the streets of New Orleans. While you spin your bullshit, elderly are dying in wheelchairs, forgotten and ignored.

    You remind me of a typical German citizen living in Germany in the mid-1930’s, you just dont want to see the truth. You’ve got too much bullshit pride to allow yourself to see just a glimmer of the truth. One day, you’ll wake up dave. If history shows anything, it shows that the truth eventually gets the better of people like you.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>no Dave this time you have the wrong facts ..and watching Fox won’t help you ..pick a ch that does not play politics…from General Honoreys own mouth when asked what took you so long his answer was “we failed to recognize the worst senario”…<<

    I didn’t say there were enough troops pre-deployed, just that there were a lot of them. Clearly no one imagined the magnitude of the disaster. But the point is that the guard did respond relatively well. They got men and materials there faster than I certainly would have expected, and if that wasn’t enough to solve all the problems, it’s been a pretty damned good effort given the difficulties they face.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Are your eyes closed to everything Dave? First the 500,000 tons of Yellowcake, now this? Are you living in complete denial or what?< <

    It's 500,000kg of Yellowcake, actually. Still a nothing to sneeze at. Are you still trying to deny that it exists despite all the documentary evidence from the UN and the US Military and the Iraqi government?

    >>Sorry dude, ask even the conservative reporters who are in NEw Orleans. The National Guard has done very little so far. < <

    Very little IN the city, except guard refugee stations. But they are working outside the city transporting goods and materials in, and doing flood control work.

    >>New Orleans isa cluster fuck of ineptitude Dave. There isnt even a command and control unit set up yet, and you’re sitting here typing into your computer about the success of the National Guard. If it weren’t so pathertic, I’d think it was funny.< <

    Sorry to shine some sunlight on your doom and gloom parade, but given the circumstances the guard has done a good job, whether it was enough to solve every problem instantly - which is ridiculous to expect - or not.

    >>While you pat your President on the back (again!), rats are consuming corpses on the streets of New Orleans. While you spin your bullshit, elderly are dying in wheelchairs, forgotten and ignored.< <

    The president has had virtually no role in any of this, and aside from asking for money from congress it's really not in his hands - it's all being run by FEMA. And the guard has deployed 200 cargo and rescue helicopters to evacuate people - that's no small achievement.

    >>You remind me of a typical German citizen living in Germany in the mid-1930’s, you just dont want to see the truth. <<

    And you remind me of the French during WW2 – so sure of their own inability to defend themselves that they hardly tried to fight and ended up collaborating willingly with the Nazis.

    Dave

  • http://bulldogpolitics.blogspot.com/ The Bulldog Manifesto

    Dave,

    Your like a Pahvolovian Dog for right wing talking points, Dave. You’ve been trained well.

    So I’m a french collaborater, eh? You kill me dude. I love this country, my friend. Call my a collaborator all you like, but I just dont enjoy witnessing my fellow American dying needlessly. You know darn well that your yellowcake rant is simply fantasy. You keep forgetting that the UN and the IAEI believed Iraq was clean of any uranium yellowcake (and they were right) and that all the people on the ground in Iraq said that Iraq was WMD free.

    After the Gulf War, we neutered Saddam Hussein, and you know it. The whole world knows it Dave (except for the fringe element of the republican party), but I think even they know it, but they are lying. So maybe I’m giving you more credit than you deserve by saying “you know it”, but I just can’t believe you could truly buy into everything you are reading on WolrdNutDaily or watching on Faux News anymore. The emperor has no clothes dave. Open your eyes and take a look.

    This administration used 9/11 and America’s fear to send us to a war that the fringe element of the republican party (e.g. the PNAC) had been planning since at least 1998. If you actually believe it was about yellowcake dave, I’m sorry my friend, but you really might need some help.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    No, BM, the UN and the IAEI do NOT believe Iraq was cleared of Yellowcake. The Yellowcake was cataloged and stored IN IRAQ. The same thing they did in Iran. It was there when US soldiers arrived. This isn’t fantasy, it’s a documented fact, confirmed by the UN, the military, the Iraqis and reporters who saw it. Absolutely no question about it. However, not everyone considers Yellowcake a WMD. Of course they also found a substantial amount of weapons grade uranium, but that’s another story.

    I don’t repeat talking points from the right or left. I just try to expose truth and provide balance, as I was doing in this article.

    Dave

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Dave, answer my post on that “Orwellian 101″ thread.

    The IAEA records are talking about Iraq’s yellowcake purchases in the early 1980s (from 1979 – 1983 or so). There was never any evidence of military or weaponized use of even the potential for that nor for a nuclear weapons program (the underlying justification for the war) — most of it was used in a largely failed civilian energy program. Everyone knows Iraq bought yellowcake from Niger and elsewhere in the early 1980s and the IAEA has made it public record since then — that wasn’t a sufficient justification for the war in anyone’s mind internationally.

    The IAEA categorically denied the rumors of Iraq trying to buy more yellowcake from Niger in 2000 and 2001 as soon as the forged document came out.
    They were among the first to call bullshit.

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your outrage.

    That is all.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>The IAEA records are talking about Iraq’s yellowcake purchases in the early 1980s (from 1979 – 1983 or so). There was never any evidence of military or weaponized use of even the potential for that nor for a nuclear weapons program (the underlying justification for the war) — most of it was used in a largely failed civilian energy program. Everyone knows Iraq bought yellowcake from Niger and elsewhere in the early 1980s and the IAEA has made it public record since then — that wasn’t a sufficient justification for the war in anyone’s mind internationally.< <

    So you now agree there was Yellowcake in Iraq. As for its weapon potential, it's more dangerous than DU shielding from artillery shells and some people think theyr'e dangerous. Plus there was several pounds which had been processed to weapon/reactor grade purity. No question that could be weaponized. But I never actually said there was evidence Saddam had made dirty bombs, just that the stuff was there.

    >>The IAEA categorically denied the rumors of Iraq trying to buy more yellowcake from Niger in 2000 and 2001 as soon as the forged document came out.
    They were among the first to call bullshit.<<

    Not quite right. Everyone agrees that Iraq expressed interest in buying Yellowcake in 2000. The debate was over whether they’d ever followed through on the deal, which they certainly appear not to have done.

    Dave

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Dave, when you wrote before I thought you were referring to the forged documents about purchasing of yellowcake in this decade. The quantity you listed was the alleged quantity in the forged document.

    The yellowcake they had from the 1980s wasn’t ever going to be used in dirty bombs.

    The IAEA was among the first to discredit the false intelligence. Iraq had no legitimate, serious high-level interest in buying any yellowcake in the last 15 years, according to the IAEA and the consensus of almost everyone today. And Niger has become a particularly poor choice of a supplier these days, which makes the whole scenario even more unlikely.

    That is all.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Dave, when you wrote before I thought you were referring to the forged documents about purchasing of yellowcake in this decade. The quantity you listed was the alleged quantity in the forged document.< <

    Nah, the 500,000 kg is a round off of a total of slightly less than that from a series of purchases made from Niger and several other countries over about a 10 year period while Iraq was developing their nuclear program.

    >>The yellowcake they had from the 1980s wasn’t ever going to be used in dirty bombs.<<

    We really have no way of knowing what they might ultimately have done with it, but that was certainly not their primary intention, though I suspect that primary intention included making real nukes.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    To get back on topic, I have to point out that while the Guard’s response was excellent in getting people to Louisiana and Mississippi and they’ve done great work in some of the areas hit directly by the storm, they’ve had a terribly difficult time being effective in New Orleans because of the inaccessibility of vital locations and the lack of any kind of pre-planning from local goverrnment.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    As another followup to this, I saw an interview with one of the army commanders who is now in New Orleans and part of the group that just finished evacuating the convention center. He made the point that although lots of forces were on the ground in staging areas before the storm hit, they were specifically ordered not to enter the city until the storm had passed and the situation had stabilized, because FEMA believed – with good reason – that they would also be swept away by the waters and become victims themselves and be unable to help anyone. This happened to many of the police and firefighters who were in the city. They waited until the first possible safe opportunity to go in en masse and get everyone out as quickly as they could.

    Dave