When a deadly F5 twister ripped through Kansas this week, the Governor of that state claimed the war in Iraq had diminished the National Guard's ability to respond. A spokesperson for the Wisconsin National Guard says the Badger State wouldn't have those problems. Lt. Col. Tim Donovan says nearly 90 percent of Wisconsin's 10,000 soldiers remain in the state, ready to respond to any potential disasters. Also, Donovan says most of the Guard's engineering equipment is still on hand in the state, unlike the situation in Kansas where most of it is overseas right now.
Donovan says Wisconsin saw a peak in deployments a couple years ago, when around 35 percent of Wisconsin guardsmen were mobilized. He says at that time, the Guard's response to a natural disaster might have been impacted because most of the engineering units were mobilized. Donovan says Wisconsin may have been forced to ask for assistance from neighboring states during that time period, if help had been needed.