Easley Concerned Over National Guard Deployments

Repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have left National Guard troops without nearly half their required equipment at home.

That leaves some governors questioning whether they can handle the next major emergency.

Governor Easley says North Carolina has about half the equipment it needs and could probably respond adequately to a hurricane. But he says, "A pandemic or something like that may be a different question."

The widespread problem of permanently losing National Guard equipment to the war was pushed to the forefront in the wake of last weekend's deadly tornadoes in the Midwest.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius complained that shortages of equipment and well-trained personnel slowed Guard response to the killer tornadoes that ravaged her state.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe acknowledges that his state, with much of its National Guard equipment in Iraq, could have similar problems as Kansas if disaster struck.