National Guard Equipment Shortage Worries Governor - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

National Guard Equipment Shortage Worries Governor

KENNEWICK, Wash.- Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is responding to a report showing the war in Iraq is overwhelming state's National Guard equipment.

The state is losing about $35 million in equipment to the war in Iraq right now.

45% of their equipment will be left behind in Iraq and Afghanistan when troops come back.

70% of it is there right now, and they're about to send their fleet of Blackhawk helicopters over.

Those are the same choppers that help fight wildfires in the summer.

"We're now looking, do we have other alternatives that we can get our hands on so that we have the capacity for fire suppression that might be called on late this spring and into the summer," Gregoire said.

She says that right now, if a Katrina like disaster were to strike, like a tsunami or earthquake, the state wouldn't be able to adequately respond right now because of the shortage.