National Guard April 2012 : Page 22

NEWSBREAKS FORSCOM, Northeast TAGS Share National Security Ideas Gen. David R. Rodriguez, the com-manding general of U.S. Forces Com-mand, conducted a Northeast Regional Adjutants General Conference at Hans-com Air Force Base, Mass., last month. FORSCOM is the largest Army command and the leading provider of expeditionary land forces to combatant commanders. Headquartered at Fort McPherson, Ga., FORSCOM consists of more than 820,000 active, National Guard and Reserve soldiers. Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, the Massachusetts adjutant general, hosted the conference attended by the adju-tants general from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Is-land and Vermont. The conference was designed to open a dialogue with the attending Guard leaders on FORSCOM initia-tives that involve the Army Guard, specifically those that impact training and readiness. “The National Guard contribution to our national security is stagger-ing ,” Rodriguez said. “My role as the FORSCOM commander is to leverage our capacity and do the best we can to provide for the collective security of our nation.” Rodriguez has now completed three regional adjutant-general conferences across the country to obtain Guard feedback. “We provide the latest update at the FORSCOM level and the [adjutants general] then talk through their issues and concerns, so together we can come up with a better plan on how to ef-fectively execute the national security strategy in the future,” Rodriguez said. Also attending was Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek, the First Army commanding general, who said, “First Army’s role for the northeast region has become more important for the future than it has been in the past … We have to be smarter as we train for collective tasks for the long term to preserve the readi-ness of our National Guard formations in the future.” ing the reserve components. In the post-Cold War drawdown, she said, programs helped service members become civilian teachers and police officers and offered bonuses for troops to leave the active components, but they had to pay the bonuses back if they entered the Guard and Reserves. The board also agreed to send a se-ries of homeland security recommen-dations. They include: Z Policy changes to accelerate the use of Reserve forces to respond to di-sasters; Z Guidance that training exercises can be used to support disaster relief and other missions, such as when the Guard pre-positioned forces leading up to Hurricane Irene last year; Z Guidance that will allow state lead-ers better predictability for calling up forces under Title 32, which has been used 13 times in the past nine years; Z A proposal to increase from 75 to 90 percent the amount the Federal Emergency Management Agency would reimburse states for Guard disaster relief operations; and Z A suggestion to give consistency to protections and benefits states give Guardsmen. RFPB: Guard Could Profit From Active-Component Downsizing A policy board plans to ask Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta to highlight service in the National Guard and Re-serve forces as a good option for outgo-ing active-component members dur-ing downsizing. In its first official action with broad-er membership and a direct line to the secretary, the Reserve Forces Policy Board agreed March 8 to send eight recommendations to Panetta to en-courage Guard and Reserve service for people leaving the active components. The fiscal 2013 defense budget re-quest ( story, page 36 ) calls for the mili-tary to reduce its personnel end-strength by 5.5 percent in the next five years. Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Ar-nold L. Punaro, who chairs the board, said a force reduction letter the secretary sent to the services last month included 12 objectives in the drawdown, but did not mention the Guard and Reserves. Maj. Gen. Anita Gallentine, who heads the board’s continuum of ser-vice subcommittee, said the Defense Department should learn from past drawdown mistakes that discouraged active-component members from join-NORTHCOM Chief Tells Senators Command Able to Defend America Priorities for U.S. Northern Com-mand include expanding partnerships, keeping eyes on air, space, cyberspace, land and sea domains, and outpacing all threats, the NORTHCOM and the North American Aerospace Defense Command commander said last month. National Guard Casualties One Army National Guard soldier lost his life from Feb. 17 to March 19 while supporting the war on terrorism, according to Defense Department casualty reporting. r .BK&#0f;3PCFSU+&#0f;.BSDIBOUJ** , 48, of Baltimore, died Feb. 25, 22 GSPNXPVOETSFDFJWFEEVSJOHBOBUUBDLBUUIF*OUFSJPS.JO -istry in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was a member of the Maryland Army National Guard’s TU #BUUBMJPO&#0d; 
&#1a;UI *OGBOUSZ %JWJTJPO 4FDVSJUZ 1BSUOFSJOH Team, from Baltimore. | Na tional Guard

Newsbreaks

FORSCOM, Northeast TAGS Share National Security Ideas<br /> <br /> Gen. David R. Rodriguez, the commanding general of U.S. Forces Command, conducted a Northeast Regional Adjutants General Conference at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., last month.<br /> <br /> FORSCOM is the largest Army command and the leading provider of expeditionary land forces to combatant commanders. Headquartered at Fort McPherson, Ga., FORSCOM consists of more than 820,000 active, National Guard and Reserve soldiers.<br /> <br /> Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, the Massachusetts adjutant general, hosted the conference attended by the adjutants general from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.<br /> <br /> The conference was designed to open a dialogue with the attending Guard leaders on FORSCOM initiatives that involve the Army Guard, specifically those that impact training and readiness.<br /> <br /> “The National Guard contribution to our national security is staggering ,” Rodriguez said. “My role as the FORSCOM commander is to leverage our capacity and do the best we can to provide for the collective security of our nation.” <br /> <br /> Rodriguez has now completed three regional adjutant-general conferences across the country to obtain Guard feedback.<br /> <br /> “We provide the latest update at the FORSCOM level and the [adjutants general] then talk through their issues and concerns, so together we can come up with a better plan on how to effectively execute the national security Strategy in the future,” Rodriguez said.<br /> <br /> Also attending was Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek, the First Army commanding general, who said, “First Army’s role for the northeast region has become more important for the future than it has been in the past … We have to be smarter as we train for collective tasks for the long term to preserve the readiness of our National Guard formations in the future.”<br /> <br /> RFPB: Guard Could Profit From Active-Component Downsizing <br /> <br /> A policy board plans to ask Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta to highlight service in the National Guard and Reserve forces as a good option for outgoing active-component members during downsizing.<br /> <br /> In its first official action with broader membership and a direct line to the secretary, the Reserve Forces Policy Board agreed March 8 to send eight recommendations to Panetta to encourage Guard and Reserve service for people leaving the active components.<br /> <br /> The fiscal 2013 defense budget request (story, page 36) calls for the military to reduce its personnel end-strength by 5.5 percent in the next five years.<br /> <br /> Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold L. Punaro, who chairs the board, said a force reduction letter the secretary sent to the services last month included 12 objectives in the drawdown, but did not mention the Guard and Reserves.<br /> <br /> Maj. Gen. Anita Gallentine, who heads the board’s continuum of service subcommittee, said the Defense Department should learn from past drawdown mistakes that discouraged active-component members from joining the reserve components.<br /> <br /> In the post-Cold War drawdown, she said, programs helped service members become civilian teachers and police officers and offered bonuses for troops to leave the active components, but they had to pay the bonuses back if they entered the Guard and Reserves.<br /> <br /> The board also agreed to send a series of homeland security recommendations.<br /> <br /> They include: <br /> <br /> .. Policy changes to accelerate the use of Reserve forces to respond to disasters; <br /> <br /> .. Guidance that training exercises can be used to support disaster relief and other missions, such as when the Guard pre-positioned forces leading up to Hurricane Irene last year;<br /> <br /> .. Guidance that will allow state leaders better predictability for calling up forces under Title 32, which has been used 13 times in the past nine years; <br /> <br /> .. A proposal to increase from 75 to 90 percent the amount the Federal Emergency Management Agency would reimburse states for Guard disaster relief operations; and <br /> <br /> .. A suggestion to give consistency to protections and benefits states give Guardsmen.<br /> <br /> NORTHCOM Chief Tells Senators Command Able to Defend America <br /> <br /> Priorities for U.S. Northern Command include expanding partnerships, keeping eyes on air, space, cyberspace, land and sea domains, and outpacing all threats, the NORTHCOM and the North American Aerospace Defense Command commander said last month.<br /> <br /> Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr., testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the fiscal 2013 defense budget request (story, page 36) for the first time as NORTHCOM commander.<br /> <br /> NORTHCOM was established after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to defend the homeland and help civil authorities respond to natural and other disasters.The deputy commander is Lt. Gen.Frank Grass, a National Guardsman.<br /> <br /> As part of the budget, Jacoby said, NORTHCOM trimmed its workforce by 141 full-time positions this year, and for fiscal 2013 has requested reducing its operations and maintenance funding by about 6 percent.<br /> <br /> “But with the resources and authorities at hand and maintaining our vigilance,” the general added, “we’ll be able to continue to defend and support the American people.”<br /> <br /> Outside its primary homeland defense mission, some of NORTHCOM’s most immediate concerns include cyber security, transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States from the border with Mexico, and security issues that arise from the predicted melting of Arctic sea ice, opening parts of the Arctic over the next decade to human activity.<br /> <br /> NORTHCOM’s main responsibility in the cyber domain, Jacoby said, “is consequence management in the event of a catastrophic cyber attack on this country. NORTHCOM could certainly be called upon to provide support to civil authorities in the recovery.But we think our role is broader than that.”<br /> <br /> Some aspects of transnational organized crime are another priority. President Barack Obama in July released a strategy for combating such crime, and NORTHCOM and the U.S. Southern Command are the main entities through which the Defense Department engages in the Western Hemisphere.<br /> <br /> Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program A Good Investment, Study Finds <br /> <br /> The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program delivers a positive return on investment, according to a study done by the RAND Corporation.<br /> <br /> ChalleNGe graduates are likely to earn up to $40,985 more over their lifetimes than they would had they not gone through the program.<br /> <br /> Subtracting the cost of sending one through the program still shows a gain of $25,549. Returns for the program are $2.66 for each dollar of taxpayer funds invested, a gain of 166 percent.<br /> <br /> The study was released in late February during a press conference by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Gen.Craig R. McKinley, the National Guard Bureau chief.<br /> <br /> The Youth ChalleNGe program offers high school dropouts a second chance at completing their high school education.<br /> <br /> The 22-week program is available at 33 ChalleNGe academies in 27 states and Puerto Rico.<br /> <br /> “That is really extraordinary,” Landrieu said of the study results.<br /> <br /> A member of the honorary board of the National Guard Youth Foundation, which oversees the program, Landrieu said the Guard has done “an outstanding job of tackling this problem in our communities.” <br /> <br /> “This program is the only program … of this scale that I know that actually is working effectively,” said Landrieu.“If someone has another one anywhere in the country run by anyone, please let this senator know and I will share it with my colleagues.” <br /> <br /> McKinley praised the work of the Cadets and highlighted the continuing success of the program.<br /> <br /> A study released in June 2011 by MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan social policy research organization, found that students who participated in ChalleNGe were doing better three years after graduating from the program than peers who did not participate. The RAND study further enforces the need for the program, McKinley said.<br /> <br /> City Suspends Fire Chief for Rejecting Guard Job Application <br /> <br /> The fire chief of Muskogee, Okla., was suspended by city officials for three weeks after an internal investigation found he rejected a job applicant because the candidate belonged to the National Guard, the Muskogee Phoenix reported.<br /> <br /> Derek Tatum made the decision in 2007 soon after being named fire chief and says he was “green and unaware” at the time.<br /> <br /> “I was definitely green and unaware of some things,” he told the newspaper.“I made an error in judgment and probably said something I shouldn’t have said. I am going to man up and take my punishment.” <br /> <br /> A city investigation of the incident began after a retired Muskogee firefighter learned of Tatum’s action while looking into the department’s hiring practices.<br /> <br /> Homeland Security/Defense Topic of Guard Bureau Seminar<br /> <br /> A course designed by the National Guard Bureau Homeland Security Institute to provide a broad understanding of homeland protection missions, enabling technologies and current challenges will be held this month at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Mass.<br /> <br /> The General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar will be held April 24 to 27. Faculty will include Arnold M. Howitt, the executive director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University, and Herman “Dutch” Leonard, professor of public management at Harvard Kennedy School.<br /> <br /> The two men are authors of “Managing Crises: Responses to Large-Scale Emergencies.” They will lead a class on crisis management.<br /> <br /> For course and tuition information, contact Lt. Col. Charles Cody at charles.cody@us.army.mil.<br /> <br /> Air Force Cancels Contract For 20 Light-Attack Aircraft <br /> <br /> Amid protests from a competitor that a bid selection process was unfair, the Air Force canceled its contract for light support aircraft construction Feb. 29.<br /> <br /> The Air Force announced in December that it would contract with Sierra Nevada, which is the U.S. partner of Brazil’s Embraer, to build 20 Super Tucanos for the Afghan military.<br /> <br /> But the $355 million contract was abruptly canceled after a protest in federal court by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, the chief competitor for the work. It alleged its light-attack aircraft, the AT-6, was unfairly shut out of the contract competition.<br /> <br /> Air Force officials decided to cancel the entire contract and investigate Hawker’s allegations.<br /> <br /> “Since the acquisition is still in litigation, I can only say that the Air Force senior acquisition executive, David Van Buren, is not satisfied with the quality of the documentation supporting the award decision,” said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley in a statement.<br /> <br /> The AT-6 had been used by the Air National Guard as the test bed for light-attack weapons testing and was believed to be a top choice for the contract.<br /> <br /> In its campaign to drum up support for its plane, Hawker Beechcraft emphasized the efficiencies that could be exploited because a variant of the AT-6 is already used by the Air Force for training purposes, which would mean many important maintenance practices were already in place.<br /> <br /> Hawker also said 1,400 jobs could have been created had it received the contract.<br /> <br /> Panetta’s Top Worry?A Major Cyber Attack <br /> <br /> When Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta was asked following a speech in Louisville, Ky., last month what keeps him awake at night, he didn’t hesitate to answer: A major cyber attack.<br /> <br /> “We are literally getting hundreds or thousands of attacks every day that try to exploit information in various [U.S.] agencies or departments,” Panetta told an audience at the University of Louisville.<br /> <br /> Plenty of targets exist beyond government, he added.<br /> <br /> “There are, obviously, growing technology and growing expertise in the use of cyber warfare,” he said. “The danger is, I think, [that] the capabilities are available in cyber to virtually cripple this nation—to bring down the power grid, to impact on our governmental systems, to impact on Wall Street and our financial system and to literally paralyze this country.”<br /> <br /> The country needs to defend against that kind of attack, but also develop the intelligence resources to understand when those possible attacks are coming, the secretary said.<br /> <br /> “So, the one thing I worry about is in knowing these things are possible and feeling that we haven’t taken all the necessary steps we need to protect this country,” he said.<br /> <br /> First Lady’s Greeting Boosts Guard Families <br /> <br /> First lady Michelle Obama visited with nine Missouri National Guardsmen and their families on March 5 after her plane touched down at the Kansas City International Airport.<br /> <br /> Obama was in town for a fundraising event. Before she came to Kansas City, she requested to meet with several military family members.<br /> <br /> Staff Sgt. Ian Rydzel, along with his wife, Krissondra, and son, Declan, were the first to welcome Obama. Rydzel is a platoon sergeant in the 135th Signal Company and has been deployed to Bosnia and Iraq.<br /> <br /> Immediately, Krissondra and the first lady made a connection.<br /> <br /> “It was a once in a lifetime thing,” Krissondra said. “She asked about our family and talked about how important family is. She just wanted to make sure we were OK, which is pretty amazing having the first lady ask if you’re OK.” <br /> <br /> Obama spent time speaking with Guardsmen and family members on issues ranging from career direction to education aspirations and physical fitness. The first lady thanked the group for their service, both in the military and at home.<br /> <br /> Deadline Extended For ‘Stop Loss’ Pay <br /> <br /> Service members and veterans whose military service was involuntarily extended under the “Stop Loss” program between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Sept. 30, 2009, are eligible for special retroactive pay, and they now have more time to apply for it.<br /> <br /> Eligible service members, veterans and their beneficiaries now have until Oct. 21 to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay, Pentagon officials announced last month.<br /> <br /> The special pay is compensation for the hardships the involuntary extensions caused, officials said.<br /> <br /> Eligible members or their beneficiaries may submit a claim to their respective military service to receive $500 for each full or partial month served in a Stop Loss status.<br /> <br /> To apply for the pay, or for more information on submission requirements, go to www.defense.gov/stoploss.<br /> <br /> Thousands Nominated For Top ESGR Award <br /> <br /> The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Defense Department agency, has received 3,236 nominations for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.<br /> <br /> The Freedom Award is ESGR’s highest recognition for Guard and Reserve employers.<br /> <br /> Up to 15 recipients will be announced this summer and honored in Washington,D. C., Sept. 20 at the 17th annual Freedom Award Ceremony.<br /> <br /> ESGR will announce semifinalists for the 2012 Freedom Award this month.<br /> <br /> Guardsmen and Reservists, or family members acting on their behalf, nominated their civilian employers for the Freedom Award during the 12-week nomination season that ended earlier this year.<br /> <br /> A list of nominations from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia are available at www.freedomaward.mil.<br /> <br /> Guardsman Named Air Force’s Top Athlete<br /> <br /> Pennsylvania Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Emily Shertzer has been chosen by the Air Force as the Athlete of the Year for her sustained success in military athletic competitions.<br /> <br /> Shertzer, a member of the Air National Guard’s Band of the Mid-Atlantic, had many athletic accomplishments in 2011 and had the fastest female time in the history of the All-Guard Marathon Team with a time of 2 hours, 54 minutes at the National Guard Marathon in Lincoln, Neb.<br /> <br /> She was the top finisher for Guard females and second among all female runners. It was her first marathon.<br /> <br /> In November, Shertzer led the Air Force at the 2011 Armed Forces Marathon Championship and Marine Corps Marathon when she finished with a U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time of 2:45, finishing in second place for women, less than 30 seconds behind the winner.<br /> <br /> In January, she ran the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials with a time of 2:49.<br /> <br /> Guard’s Role in Disaster Response Further Defined<br /> <br /> The nation's governors and Defense Department officials have further defined the National Guard's role as the first military responder at home, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman told attendees at the 2012 Domestic preparedness workshop at national harbor. Md., in late February.<br /> <br /> Known as Unity of Effort, the initiative clarifies the roles and responsibilities of active, guard and reserve forced should they all be needed in disaster response operations.<br /> <br /> The initiative makes clear that a Guard officer is to serve as a dual-status commander, maintaining command over both Title 32 state forces-Guard elements-and Title 10 federal military units that may also respond to an emergency within the states.<br /> <br /> "This document discusses the roles of governors and adjustants general during a response and states that they are to be the principal support authority," Heineman said."while this sound simple, this phrase did from the basis for what has become an historic agreement that will dramatically change how this country prepares and responds to emergencies."<br /> <br /> The plan has its roots in the response to Hurricane Katrina, he said.<br /> <br /> "As the floodwaters slowly receded and the country assessed what had occurred, some in the federal government Decided that federalizing the response effort was the solution," the Nebraska governor said.<br /> <br /> But, Heineman said, many others felt there was an alternative solution that answered the question of how to coordinate federal military forces with Guard elements in a disaster situation.<br /> <br /> Among those favoring a dual-status commander was the Council of Governors.<br /> <br /> Composed of 10 governors representing all the governors, the council worked with pentagon oddicials to develop a joint plan of action.<br /> <br /> The plan specifically addresses the role of the dual-status commander.There is also a training and certification program for those who may serve as a dual-status commander, Heineman said.<br /> <br /> "Almost every state now has at least one National Guard officer trained to serve in this important role," he said.<br /> <br /> Heineman also noted the evolution of the Guard in recent years.<br /> <br /> "The role the National Guard is playing today is extraordinarily different than what it was 20 or 30 years ago," he said to the predominantly Guard audience.<br /> <br /> "it's amazing what you do and the training that [is provided] and the exceptional manner in which you perform those missions.it's better tofay than we've ever had. We don't want to go back."<br /> <br />

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here