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national guard gets ready

by k Wednesday, Aug. 09, 2000 at 12:36 PM

national guard gets ready with weapons for LA - LAT article the last line is interesting

Los Angeles Times

August 8, 2000

Pg. 9

National Guard Prepared To Deploy 3,000 Troops In L.A.

By H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer

The California National Guard is prepared to deploy as many as 3,000 soldiers to help quell any civil disorder during

the Democratic National Convention.

In addition to supporting law enforcement, the troops will assist firefighters in a plan that includes the use of the Los

Alamitos-based Weapons of Mass Destruction team to combat acts of chemical, biological or nuclear terrorism.

Maj. Gen. Paul D. Monroe Jr., the Guard's adjutant general in Sacramento, said the preparations are precautionary.

Soldiers and equipment can be deployed within 24 hours after they are requested by local officials, he said.

"The Los Angeles Police Department is running the security program for the DNC. We were not included in the

[local] planning," Monroe said. "It's felt that they have enough law enforcement personnel available to them to handle

any problem. But we would be negligent if we didn't plan for any eventuality."

In preparing for the Democratic convention, the LAPD will be supported by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's

Department, California Highway Patrol and officers from various police departments in nearby counties. The security

teams will include federal agents assigned to protect Vice President Al Gore and other officials.

State authorities are still smarting from the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which caught the Guard unprepared. Political

indecision and lack of coordination in Sacramento led to delays in mobilizing the Guard, and some soldiers were sent

to riot areas without ammunition.

This time, Guard officials began preparations in January. The plan took effect last Friday and will remain in place

through Aug. 18.

"For the past two years, there have been concerns from the electric utilities regarding a severe drain on the power

system in the summer months. Brownouts are a very real possibility as is a heat emergency in the Los Angeles area,''

said the 31-page operational plan.

The warning about possible power shortages is especially timely after the hot weather that has led to high electrical

usage and taxed the state's power grid.

"Nobody can predict what's going to happen," Monroe said. "But we prepare for the eventuality in case we're

called."

But preparedness does not mean that soldiers will be quartered in local armories during the convention.

"We have not been asked to stage forces or to be prepared that way,'' Monroe said.

Instead, the Guard's plan said that "on 24 hours notice [the Guard] . . . will deploy up to three 1,000-person

response teams to the Los Angeles area in support of civilian authority."

The troops probably will assemble at Camp San Luis Obispo and the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Los

Alamitos and then convoy to Los Angeles.

In 1992, a large number of soldiers were sent to the Los Angeles riots without locking plates in their M-16 assault

rifles, preventing the weapons from being fired fully automatic. This time commanders were ordered to have locking

plates "installed and functional" by July 31.

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