Easley, Leahy, Urge More Help For Stressed National Guard


North Carolina's National Guard units may be able to handle a routine natural disaster, but Governor Mike Easley worries they're too short on equipment and training for bigger catastrophes.

Easley and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy spoke with reporters today about their concerns for overworked Guard units. Governors began speaking out last week about how the Iraq war has drawn Guard units and equipment that's been left in the Middle East when the troops return.

Easley says the lack of gear is a major problem, but --not-- when it comes to disaster response. He says the bigger issue is that Guard members can't train properly if they don't have the necessary equipment.

Leahy says he'd like the Guard to have a representative on the Joint Chiefs of Staff so it can lobby more effectively.


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