Gates approves more National Guard to respond to oil slick

WASHINGTON (BestGrowthStock) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates has approved requests from the governors of three additional Gulf Coast states to fund the deployment of thousands of National Guard troops to respond to the oil slick, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

In addition to backing Louisiana’s request for up to 6,000 Guard members, Colonel David Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said Gates has given “verbal approval” to requests from Mississippi for 6,000 guard members, Alabama for 3,000 and Florida for 2,500.

Of the 6,000 requested by Louisiana, about 1,200 members have been activated so far to provide command and control support to the cleanup effort. The other states have yet to go activate their forces.

The Pentagon must authorize the deployments but BP Plc, which has been struggling to stop oil gushing unchecked from a ruptured undersea well in the Gulf of Mexico, is responsible for reimbursing the federal government for cleanup-related costs.

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(Reporting by Adam Entous; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Gates approves more National Guard to respond to oil slick