National Guard September 2012 : Page 24

NEWSBREAKS Panetta: National Guard Critical For Nation’s Future Security Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told National Guardsmen at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N.Y., last month that their service is critical to the defense strategy. “New York’s Air National Guard is the largest Air Guard in the nation, with tremendous cutting-edge capa-bilities,” he said. “And many New York installations, including Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, are making a very important contribution to our nation’s defense.” Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is home to the New York Air Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 914th Airlift Wing. Together, more than 2,700 service members and civilians are assigned to the units. The spirit of public service exempli-fied by the Guard and Reserve is essen-tial to democracy, Panetta said. It dem-onstrates a commitment to securing the nation and providing better futures for the nation’s children. “This is an historic time to be serv-ing the nation. It’s an historic time to be an American. We’re at a strategic turning point when it comes to our na-tional security,” Panetta said. That turning point is the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the resulting cuts in defense spending, he explained. Budget cuts must be responsible, Pa-netta said, and undertaken in a way that allows the U.S. military to maintain its position as the strongest in the world, while not hollowing out the force. “In the past, as we’ve come out of wars, whether it was World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, when we cut the defense budget, it was cut across the board and it hollowed out the force,” Panetta said. “It weakened every element of our defense establishment. I am not going to repeat that mistake.” The Defense Department’s chal-lenge is how to better position itself to support civil authorities during disas-ter response activities, Stockton said. Building resilience against cascading failures of critical infrastructure, even, as in the case of the electric grid, when it is owned by the private sector, is es-sential to mission assurance, he said. Stockton pointed to a new complex catastrophe initiative signed by De-fense Secretary Leon E. Panetta that would enable DoD to bring all of its capabilities, from all components, to bear in support of civil authorities. The initiative will make defense sup-port of civil authorities faster and more effective in delivering life-saving and life-sustaining requirements, Stockton said. Pentagon’s Role in Disasters Explained by Defense Official A senior defense official addressed the role the Pentagon plays in disaster planning and response at a panel dis-cussion last month sponsored by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. Paul N. Stockton, the assistant sec-retary of defense for homeland defense and America’s security, said he got “a big wake-up call” during a 2011 na-tional exercise that simulated a magni-tude 7.7 earthquake in the New Ma-drid Seismic Zone. Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mis-souri and Tennessee would likely bear the brunt of such a quake. “That scenario would have pro-duced destruction on a scale that would differ from Hurricane Katrina in two important dimensions,” he ex-plained. “First of all, on a quantitative scale, we would have had many, many more casualties over a much wider geographic area. “There’s a second dimension that I believe is even more important. A seis-mic event of that scale would produce a long-term loss of power, a loss of elec-tric power for weeks to months over a multistate region.” New Leader: Welsh Takes Helm As 20th Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, a 36-year vet-eran, became the 20th Air Force chief of staff during a ceremony Aug. 10. Welsh provided testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 19, before the full Senate voted on his confirmation Aug. 2. “I fully accept the responsibility to stand beside Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and lead the 690,000 ac-tive, Guard, Reserve and civilian airmen who selflessly serve our nation as part of an unbeatable joint team,” he said. Welsh, who served as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, suc-ceeded Gen. Norton A. Schwartz. “The president made an excellent choice in General Welsh,” said retired National Guard Casualties Two Army National Guard soldiers lost their lives from July 20 to Aug. 22 while supporting overseas contingency operations, according to Defense Department casualty reporting. r 4QD&#0f;#FOKBNJO$&#0f;1MFJUF[&#0d;
&#0d;PG5VSMPDL&#0d;$BMJG&#0f;&#0d;EJFE+VMZ
&#0d; JO.B[BS&4IBSJG&#0d;"GHIBOJTUBO&#0d;PGVOTQFDJàFEDBVTFT&#0f; )FXBTBNFNCFSPGUIF$BMJGPSOJB"SNZ/BUJPOBM(VBSET 
OE 5SBOTQPSUBUJPO $PNQBOZ&#0d; UI $PNCBU 4VTUBJO -NFOU4VQQPSU#BUUBMJPO&#0d;GSPN7BO/VZT&#0d;$BMJG&#0f; r 4QD&#0f;,ZMF#&#0f;.D$MBJO , 25, of Rochester Hills, Mich., died Aug. &#0d;JO4BMJN"LB&#0d;"GHIBOJTUBO&#0d;GSPNXPVOETTVGGFSFEXIFOIF encountered an enemy improvised explosive device. )FXBTBNFNCFSPGUIF.JDIJHBO"SNZ/BUJPOBM(VBSET SE&OHJOFFS$PNQBOZ&#0d;UI&OHJOFFS#BUUBMJPO&#0d;UI .JMJUBSZ1PMJDF#SJHBEF&#0d;GSPN,BMBNB[PP&#0d;.JDI&#0f; 24 | Na tional Guard

Newsbreaks

Panetta: National Guard Critical For Nation’s Future Security<br /> <br /> Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told National Guardsmen at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N.Y., last month that their service is critical to the defense strategy.<br /> <br /> “New York’s Air National Guard is the largest Air Guard in the nation, with tremendous cutting-edge capabilities,” he said. “And many New York installations, including Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, are making a very important contribution to our nation’s defense.”<br /> <br /> Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is home to the New York Air Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 914th Airlift Wing. Together, more than 2,700 service members and civilians are assigned to the units.<br /> <br /> The spirit of public service exemplified by the Guard and Reserve is essential to democracy, Panetta said. It demonstrates a commitment to securing the nation and providing better futures for the nation’s children.<br /> <br /> “This is an historic time to be serving the nation. It’s an historic time to be an American. We’re at a strategic turning point when it comes to our national security,” Panetta said.<br /> <br /> That turning point is the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the resulting cuts in defense spending, he explained.<br /> <br /> Budget cuts must be responsible, Panetta said, and undertaken in a way that allows the U.S. military to maintain its position as the strongest in the world, while not hollowing out the force.<br /> <br /> “In the past, as we’ve come out of wars, whether it was World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, when we cut the defense budget, it was cut across the board and it hollowed out the force,” Panetta said. “It weakened every element of our defense establishment. I am not going to repeat that mistake.”<br /> <br /> Pentagon’s Role in Disasters Explained by Defense Official<br /> <br /> A senior defense official addressed the role the Pentagon plays in disaster planning and response at a panel discussion last month sponsored by the Heritage Foundation in Washington,D. C. <br /> <br /> Paul N. Stockton, the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and America’s security, said he got “a big wake-up call” during a 2011 national exercise that simulated a magnitude7. 7 earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.<br /> <br /> Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee would likely bear the brunt of such a quake.<br /> <br /> “That scenario would have produced destruction on a scale that would differ from Hurricane Katrina in two important dimensions,” he explained.“First of all, on a quantitative scale, we would have had many, many more casualties over a much wider geographic area.<br /> <br /> “There’s a second dimension that I believe is even more important. A seismic event of that scale would produce a long-term loss of power, a loss of electric power for weeks to months over a multistate region.”<br /> <br /> The Defense Department’s challenge is how to better position itself to support civil authorities during disaster response activities, Stockton said.<br /> Building resilience against cascading failures of critical infrastructure, even, as in the case of the electric grid, when it is owned by the private sector, is essential to mission assurance, he said.<br /> <br /> Stockton pointed to a new complex catastrophe initiative signed by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta that would enable DoD to bring all of its capabilities, from all components, to bear in support of civil authorities.<br /> The initiative will make defense support of civil authorities faster and more effective in delivering life-saving and life-sustaining requirements, Stockton said.<br /> <br /> New Leader: Welsh Takes Helm As 20th Air Force Chief of Staff<br /> <br /> Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, a 36-year veteran, became the 20th Air Force chief of staff during a ceremony Aug. 10.<br /> <br /> Welsh provided testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 19, before the full Senate voted on his confirmation Aug. 2.<br /> <br /> “I fully accept the responsibility to stand beside Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and lead the 690,000 active, Guard, Reserve and civilian airmen who selflessly serve our nation as part of an unbeatable joint team,” he said.<br /> <br /> Welsh, who served as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, succeeded Gen. Norton A. Schwartz.<br /> <br /> “The president made an excellent choice in General Welsh,” said retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., the NGAUS president. “We look forward to working with him on a way ahead for the Air Force that best serves our nation.”<br /> <br /> To that end, Welsh accepted a NGAUS invitation to speak at the 134th General Conference and Exhibition (Conference Extra, page 100) this month in Reno, Nev.<br /> <br /> Guard Security Advisor Teams Train for First Afghan Mission<br /> <br /> The first Army National Guard units tapped to be security-force-assistance advisor teams in Afghanistan began training last month at Camp Shelby, Miss., in preparation for the deployment.<br /> <br /> SFAATs are designed to provide mentorship and training to help the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) to conduct more effective intelligence and tactical operations and to prevent terrorism and insurgency.<br /> <br /> A new concept announced only last winter, the first SFA Ats were initially comprised of active-component soldiers.This rotation, however, will be comprised of Hawaii and Texas Army Guardsmen.<br /> <br /> The new mission means new training requirements. Instead of preparing the entire unit for one mission, the Camp Shelby training staff has to train multiple teams with individual missions, said Col. Christopher S. Forbes, the commander of the 158th Infantry Brigade, which is responsible for the training.<br /> <br /> “One of the main functions for the SFA AT team is enabling and advising the ANSF in their planning capability,” he said.<br /> <br /> This means Forbes and his staff have to take the planning requirement, individual and collective soldier-skill requirements, as well as the diff erent types of advisory teams, into account.<br /> <br /> They also have to plan around the changes to the unit structure. As small teams, the SFA Ats must provide all support internally as opposed to receiving support from a brigade.<br /> <br /> ‘Tough’ Competition Decides Top Army Guard Soldier, NCO<br /> <br /> A soldier from Pennsylvania and a noncommissioned officer from Arkansas are the Army National Guard’s top warriors.<br /> <br /> The two survived the Army Guard’s Best Warrior competition at Fort Benning, Ga., and will now compete in the Army Best Warrior competition later this year.<br /> <br /> Sgt. Mark Fuggiti, a supply specialist with Pennsylvania’s Company C, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, came out as the organization’s top soldier.<br /> The best NCO is Sgt. Matthew Howard, an artillery crew member with Arkansas’ Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 142nd Fires Brigade.<br /> <br /> Competition events included a physical fitness test, a sergeant major board, a road march with heavy packs, an obstacle and challenge course, and weapons qualifications under stress.<br /> <br /> “Representing our states and just doing the best we can do for our families and ourselves has helped to keep me motivated,” Fuggiti said.<br /> <br /> Each competitor survived at local, state and regional competitions to reach this stage.<br /> <br /> “This level of competition has helped me prepare for the next,” said Howard. “You never know what the next competition will be, but each level helps to prepare you for what may come.<br /> <br /> “The competition was so tough.Without a doubt, I am honored to be representing the Army Guard.”<br /> <br /> Study: Pay Cap Could Save Pentagon Billions of Dollars<br /> <br /> A study for the Pentagon by the Rand Corporation suggests a cap on basic military pay would be one way to rein in defense spending.<br /> <br /> The study, which was reported last month in Army Times, does not make a recommendation, but points out three ways to cap the pay and notes how much savings would result from each.<br /> <br /> A one-time pay freeze would save about $1.2 billion the first year and $17.7 billion over 10 years. A one-time pay cap that would hold the military raise to half a percentage point less than average private-sector wage growth would save $360 million the first year and $5.2 billion over 10 years.<br /> <br /> And four years of pay raises capped as in the option above would save $360 million the first year and $17.5 billion over 10 years.<br /> <br /> The Pentagon could entertain capping pay raises, the report says, because of the tight civilian job market, the coming end to combat in Afghanistan which will make smaller pay raises more politically feasible, and a decade of robust pay raises that puts military compensation in line with or ahead of private sector salaries.<br /> <br /> When factoring in tax-free housing and food allowances, full-time enlisted members are better paid than 80 percent or more of civilians. That figure was 60 percent in 2000.<br /> <br /> Air Force Notifying Members of Changes to Travel Charge Card<br /> <br /> The terms and conditions for the Air Force’s travel charge card are changing, but airmen can hang on to their blue cards.<br /> <br /> Through the end of this month, the Air Force Banking Office will email approximately 300,000 airmen, informing them that their controlled spend account card will convert back to a government travel card, which will operate like a standard charge card.<br /> <br /> For airmen who received a CSA card and previously had a GTC or traveled using the CSA without going delinquent, the transition will be automatic. They must complete a training course found at www.Defensetravel.dod.mil/passport and sign a statement of understanding.<br /> <br /> Otherwise, they may continue using their card for official travel purposes.<br /> <br /> However, some airmen are being notified by their agency program coordinator that they must apply for the GTC because they never had a GTC in the past, but were issued a CSA card and either went delinquent or never used it. The application process involves a credit check that will only be performed with the applicant’s consent.<br /> <br /> The current blue CSA card will now operate just like the GTC that was used for many years prior to the CSA. GTCs have fixed credit limits like a regular charge card, and cardholders no longer need to request temporary spend limit increases. If a cardholder’s official travel estimate exceeds their credit limit, they need to discuss their options with their agency program coordinator.<br /> <br /> Scam Targets Guard Spouses; Victims Encouraged to Report<br /> <br /> The Illinois National Guard has become the target of a recent email scam intended to reach spouses of deployed Guard members and defraud them out of more than $1,000, Illinois Guard officials said last month.<br /> <br /> “These criminals are attempting to play upon the desire of our military spouses to see their service members home on leave,” said Maj. Gen. Dennis Celletti, the Illinois National Guard acting adjutant general.<br /> <br /> “It is our priority to protect our families and deployed heroes from these despicable criminals and the financial and emotional harm they would cause,” he said.<br /> <br /> The fraudulent email has been sent directly to military spouses from someone claiming to be Celletti. It refers to a deployed Guard member by name and references a cost of luggage required from the beneficiary before the Guard member can travel for approved temporary leave.<br /> <br /> “This is certainly a scam, like ones we have seen in the past,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 John Chepulis of the Illinois Guard’s provost marshal’s office.<br /> <br /> “The expertise and authority to investigate matters like this are referred to our civilian law enforcement partners who have been made aware of this situation,” he said.<br /> <br /> If anyone feels they have been affected by this scam, please report the issue to the FBI Cyber Crime website at www.fbi.gov/ scams-safety/fraud/internet_fraud/.<br /> <br /> Added Medal: Valor Website Now Includes Service Cross Recipients<br /> <br /> A website launched in July that lists recipients of the military’s highest awards for valor for actions since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has been updated with service cross recipients.<br /> <br /> The site—http://valor.defense.gov— is designed to raise awareness of service members’ heroism and to help deter those who falsely claim military honors, officials said.<br /> <br /> The new website was launched with the names of Medal of Honor recipients for actions since 9/11, and now lists recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross and Navy Cross. The services are continuing to compile the lists of Silver Star recipients to add to the site, officials said.<br /> <br /> Compiled from staff and Pentagon reports<br /> <br /> National Guard Casualties<br /> <br /> BEST OF THE BEST <br /> <br /> “I don’t want to be the best just because I beat other people that weren’t. I want to be the best because I competed against the best and won.” <br /> <br /> —Sgt. Matthew Howard, Arkansas National Guard, <br /> “Arkansas Soldier Earns Army National Guard NCO of the Year,” <br /> arkansasmatters.com, Aug. 13 <br /> <br /> WISE INVESTMENT <br /> <br /> “Preserving today’s Army National Guard and Army Reserve is far more cost-effective than trying to build them from the ground up the next time our nation is threatened.” <br /> <br /> —Lt. Gen. William E. Ingram Jr., Army National Guard director, <br /> “Where We’ve Been and Where We Want to Go,” <br /> Army magazine, August <br /> <br /> HEAVY TOLL <br /> <br /> “It’s like, no, it’s not happening. This isn’t real. We have all these things we had set up and planned for. We were going to buy a house. We just bought a van. We had all the kids together.” <br /> <br /> —Jill Marion, widow of Sgt. Mike Perry, Louisiana National Guard, <br /> who was killed in a training accident July 10, “Stranger steps in to help family of slain National Guardsman,” WDSU-TV New Orleans, Aug. 10 <br /> <br /> NO SHADES OF GRAY <br /> <br /> “When it comes to airman resiliency, the suicide prevention, the sexual-assault prevention and response, I believe you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem. There is no middle ground.” <br /> <br /> —Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff, <br /> “Schwartz, Welsh Pay Tribute To Airmen At Air Force Transition,” <br /> American Forces Press Service, Aug. 10 <br /> <br /> DANGER AHEAD <br /> <br /> “This is not a boogeyman that does not exist. This is a reality we are facing.” <br /> <br /> —Retired Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, former NGB chief, <br /> “Sequestration Threatens National Guard,” <br /> National Defense Magazine, Aug. 15 <br /> <br /> LIFESAVER <br /> <br /> “It’s not something that I think about on a daily basis . . . How all of this training makes me a better person, but now that this happened, I am glad that I know how to react.” <br /> <br /> —Senior Airman Jared M. Vignes, Louisiana National Guard, <br /> “Louisiana Air National Guard Airmen react quickly, save the lives of three boaters,” <br /> 159th Fighter Wing release, Aug. 14<br /> <br /> Magazine Archives<br /> <br /> Below is an excerpt as it appeared in the November 1972 issue of NATIONAL GUARDSMAN, as the magazine was once known. It’s part of a series of relevant articles from the publication’s more than 65 years of archives.<br /> <br /> Governor Reagan: Don’t down-grade the Guard<br /> <br /> California’s Gov. Ronald Reagan launched a vigorous attack on proposals for heavy cuts in the Defense Budget when he addressed an overflow crowd at the States Dinner [of the 60th NGAUS General Conference in San Francisco].<br /> <br /> The action “would be a reckless gamble with the safety and security of the American people”, said the Governor. “America would be staking its survival on an unrealistic, overly-optimistic assessment of the enemy’s good intentions. Our only hole card in the great international poker game would be a wistful desire for peace. Our future negotiating would be from a calculated posture of military weakness that would guarantee a future policy of unconditional appeasement”.<br /> <br /> History teaches that appeasement “invites an aggressor to test the will of a nation unprepared to meet that test”, the Governor asserted, adding: “And tragically, those who seemingly want peace the most—our young people—pay the heaviest price for our failure to maintain our strength”.<br /> <br /> Governor Reagan declared himself “totally opposed” to a proposal that the National Guard be “reconstituted” and reduced in size. That would mean, he declared, “total elimination of the National Guard’s Federal combat reserve role in America’s defense planning” and making the Guard simply a domestic Militia.<br /> <br /> “Instead of helping provide realistic deterrence”, he went on, “the elimination of your military mission would be part of a grand design for minimum deterrence and this would not strengthen America nor would it increase our chances for a lasting peace”.<br /> <br /> He spoke of the “strange set of values” of those who “propose general amnesty for those who have turned their backs on America” but “leave the fate of American prisoners-of-war to the hope for good will of an enemy who has displayed as great a savagery as has ever been recorded in the annals of war”; who, “unwilling to make the investment necessary to keep American first in defense and space … are willing to finance welfare benefits for the people they would put out of work”. And he concluded: <br /> <br /> “Let us resolve that no American President will ever have to beg—hat in hand—for peace because we were unwilling to protect our freedom and the freedoms of Americans as yet unborn”.

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here