On the heels of claims that "half the equipment" the military needed to fight the fires in California is tied up in Iraq - and the rest of the assorted assertions that Iraq/Bush/DoD is to blame - it is nice to see that the Pentagon made available Mr. Paul McHale, Asst Secretary of Defense McHale. to directly address precisely what the DoD has been doing to assist firefighters in the effort.
Once again the leftists Democrats take a tragedy and attempt to exploit for their own ends. They even hate the fact that those in charge want to keep us informed. Moral illness I tell ya.
McHale: No one has criticized the DoD on the speed in which we deployed our aircraft.
Blogger: The aircraft and copters were deployed far quicker than anyone expected...
McHale: The delay occurred when spotters were not available. There is a requirement that a spotter be on a helicopter before it can be deployed to fight fires. The civilian orgs are responsible for providing the spotters. As soon as the spotters were available they took off.
Wasn't a lack of coordination - simply weren't spotters.
The military response in Calif were not inhibited to any degree by our activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of this morning, appr oximately 2,500 National Guardsman were deployed in fire fighting mission 350 civilian
There were 17,000 available National Guardsman who could have and could have been activated if needed.
No degradation of firefighting response. WE had considerable capability
Atlas: Arson has been cited as the behind the fires are we any closer to knowing who set them?
McHale: We are fighting the fire not the investigation. Not the DoD.
Steve (ThreatsWatch): Military reserve readiness: expanding the civilian
McHale: To better integrate federal, state, civilian planning response to catastrophic events
I think there should be a task force for emergency response on every state. The model should be based on TFER (task force on emergency response)
Guardsmen that have been trained as planners - integrated planning at the state level ..
Feds plans, state's plans, local plans integrated - at the heart of this integration are the civilian employees that are currently being trained by National Guardsman on the weekends. During the week, civilians take off their uniforms and are employees of the DHS.
Citizen soldiers ---> first responders.
Awe inspiring is to see the civilian first responders, National Guardsman ..... no one is doing what they are doing for a paycheck. Seeing these self less acts ... this sense of purpose is inspiring.
The most interesting portion was dealing with emergency response to catastrophic events. Listen to the whole interview here.