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National Guard's Gone

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

With so many National Guard troops deployed in Iraq, officials in some states are worried they could be caught short-handed if an emergency occurs at home.

Governors rely on the National Guard to serve as a last line of defense during natural disasters and civil emergencies. And as the hurricane and wildfire seasons begin, states are scrambling to make other plans.

Guard leaders have assured states that remaining Guard units can handle states' emergency needs. Nationally, only about a quarter of the 460,000 National Guard members are deployed.

A recently released General Accounting Office report warns that overseas deployments could strain the National Guard's stateside mission.

The percentage of Army National Guard troops currently deployed ranges from a high of 81-percent in Idaho to a low of five percent in Alaska.

Thirty-six-percent of guardsmen in Alabama are deployed.


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