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National Guard says obsolete equipment hurt relief effort

In an interview with USA Today, Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, head of the National Guard Bureau says:

"We were underequipped," Blum said. "We don't need tanks and attack helicopters and artillery, but we must have state-of-the-art radios and communications."
...Much of the Guard's best communications equipment was being used by troops fighting in Iraq and wasn't available for units helping Gulf Coast states recover from the hurricane, Blum said...
Last week, Sens. Kit Bond, R-Mo., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wrote President Bush asking for $1.3 billion to buy new equipment for the Guard...
Only 34% of the Guard's equipment is available for use in the USA, the letter said, with the worst shortages in trucks, night-vision goggles, engineering equipment and communications gear. The Guard has historically used hand-me-down equipment from the active-duty military. For example, the Army Guard is using Vietnam-era radios while it needs 37,000 newer radios, according to a recent Guard budget briefing paper posted on its website.
Two wars and a recruiting shortfall have taxed the 350,000-member Army National Guard this year. At one point, about 40% of the 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq were from the Guard or Reserve.