Defense

October 11, 2013

National Guard faces the shutdown

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

National Guard personnel are feeling the effects of the government shutdown and leaders are worried about the readiness of the component, Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, the vice chief of the National Guard Bureau said Oct. 11.

The Pay Our Military Act has mitigated some of the effects of the partial government shutdown for the Guard, but there are still concerns, the general said.

The act does not allow for drill training periods, unless the drill is in support of an excepted activity such as preparing for an overseas deployment, he said. ìMost October drills are canceled, impacting nearly 400,000 National Guard members, Lengyel said. ìThese drill periods are critical to maintaining the training and preparedness of our citizen soldiers and airmen ñ nearly 85 percent of our force.

For individual Guardsmen canceling drills means a loss of pay. For units it means degrading the readiness needed to respond to homeland and overseas missions.

Not all units are impacted. ìUnits preparing for deployment are not affected by the government shutdown, Lengyel said. ìThe National Guard is now the best-trained and best-equipped force in our history. We are indispensable to both domestic and overseas operations. It would be extremely unfortunate to this nation if our readiness is allowed to atrophy.

The shutdown is delaying some training deployments, the general said, but it will not affect Guardsmens ability to deploy for actual, real-world missions.

The National Guard responds to emergencies within the United States. Recent activities included providing assistance to local authorities during flooding in Colorado, aiding in fighting wildfires in the West and preparing for storms in the East. Guardsmen and civilians who work for the Guard remain on call despite the shutdown. ìDuring the lapse of appropriations, DOD civilians who support the military in support of the preservation of life and protection of property were allowed to continue working, Lengyel said.

When Tropical Storm Karen threatened the Gulf Coast, the Guard worked with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to authorize the recall of up to 2,200 additional National Guard military technicians to assist with disaster response actions. ìThe department has now recalled additional categories of civilians as defined by the Pay Our Military Act, he said.

The initial shutdown furlough impacted more than 40,000 dual-status military technicians. These men and women are civilian employees during the week and drilling Guardsmen. ìThey provide critical support that makes it possible for traditional Guard soldiers to train and operate, such as performing day-to-day equipment maintenance, managing pay and other administrative functions, the general said.

Under POMA, DOD was able to recall additional categories of civilians, leaving the National Guard with nearly 250 dual-status technicians still on furlough. ìWhile this is a positive development, there is still more work to be done in order to get everyone back to work, he said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Virgin Galactic photograph

NTSB concludes SpaceShipTwo flight test accident investigation

Virgin Galactic photograph WhiteKnightTwo and the first SpaceShipTwo during a captive carry test flight over the Mojave Desert. MOJAVE, Calif.–The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded the investigation of th...
 
 

Headlines July 27, 2015

News: U.S.-Turkey deal aims to create de facto ‘safe zone’ in northwest Syria – Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a de facto “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border under the terms of a deal that is expected to significantly increase the scope and pace of the U.S.-led air war against...
 
 

News Briefs July 27, 2015

Putin OKs maritime code calling for strong Atlantic presence Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a new version of the country’s maritime doctrine that calls for maintaining a strong Russian presence in the Atlantic Ocean amid concerns about NATO expansion. The doctrine, which covers naval, merchant marine and scientific maritime issues, also adds the Antarctic...
 

 
Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten

U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria train together at Rapid Trident 2015

Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten U.S. soldiers, of the 3rd Platoon, 615th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, react as they conduct reacting to contact training as part of their situational trai...
 
 
nasa-astronaut

Astronaut Stephen Frick retires from NASA

Astronaut Stephen Frick has retired from NASA to accept a position in the private sector. Frick, who flew as both a shuttle pilot and commander, left the Agency July 13. Steve has been a great asset to the astronaut office and ...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt

Estonian, US forces receive new jump wings

Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt Pvt. Kalmer Simohov, of Parnu, a volunteer with the Estonian Defense League, receives his U.S. Army Airborne wings following the joint airborne operations exercise at a drop zone in Nurm...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>