Friday, November 04, 2005

Oy veys mere 

what we’re missing

Illinois has 4 percent of the medium trucks required by military standards - six out of 166 - while Missouri has only 28 percent.

Missouri has 37 percent of the night-vision devices required, and Illinois has 47 percent.

And the National Guard Bureau says the problem is getting worse across the country, with a great deal of Guard equipment - 64,000 items in all - having been destroyed or left in Iraq, and more being written off every day.

"We have nothing to train on. We're begging and pleading to get just one truck so we can train our drivers and engineers," state Rep. Jim Avery, R-Crestwood, said Wednesday.

A specialist with the 138th Engineer Company from Farmington, Avery spent a year and a day in Iraq searching for roadside bombs, returning in March. Recently, he helped out in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and says his company had to scrounge for vehicles before heading to the Gulf Coast.

"Overall, we just have a bunch of junk, and that's the truth and everybody knows it," said Avery, a former Marine who is vice chairman of the appropriations panel for Guard equipment in the Missouri House.

"If we don't have it, we can't train on it, and if we can't train then there's really no purpose to even go to drill," Avery said.

Mark Allen, chief spokesman for the National Guard Bureau, said that in September 2001, before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Guard equipment levels stood at 75 percent - but have fallen to 34 percent.

"We've left a lot of equipment in theater, and of course a lot of it has been destroyed and is not coming back," Allen said. "The Department of Defense has a responsibility to fill these items for us, and so that's what we expect to happen."


and we wonder why politicians are out of touch

best regards, nice info » » »
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