National Guard February 2012 : Page 31

President of the Adjutants General Association Ben Sarle, for the Burlington Free Press B UDGET F OCUS Dubie says the adjutants general are “anxiously awaiting” the release of the president’s budget Feb. 6. on individual issues, but I believe that right now we have an understanding and mutual respect between us and the senior leadership of the Pentagon that we never had before. Obviously, the big news right now is the elevation of the chief of the National Guard Bureau to the Joint Chiefs of Staff . At a minimum, it is a great symbolic victory for the National Guard. What are the practical benefi ts to the adjutants general of having the NGB chief at the table? he’ll be able to articulate and advocate for homeland security issues that are uniquely handled by the National Guard. Sometimes, if you don’t work in those circles, you might not be aware of how they aff ect a traditional Guardsman or M-Day soldier. We now have a voice among the Joint Chiefs that will be able to very eff ectively de-scribe how a member of the National Guard may be able to assist in the defense of America that wasn’t even considered before. All signs point to major cuts to Air National Guard personnel and aircraft in the president’s fi scal 2013 budget request for the Air Force. How would the adjutants general respond to such a pro-posal? To me, the most important aspect of the chief being at the table is that We are anxiously awaiting the pres-ident’s budget to be released on the 6th of February, and we are concerned that our units have the most exposure, because, by and large, our units have the most legacy weapons systems. Until we see the details and how units are aff ected, it’s diffi cult to say how the adjutants general will respond. Up until this point, we’re just going on things that have been leaked to the press and some comments that have been made by members of Congress. February 2012 | 31

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