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.


 
 

 

Headlines September 29, 2014

News: U.S. military limits warplanes used for Islamic State bombings - The U.S. is relying mostly on warplanes already positioned in the region for its air war against the Islamic State, as opposed to dispatching a major buildup of aerial forces that happened in previous campaigns.   Business: At DOD, it’s use-it-or-lose-it season - As fiscal 2014...
 
 

News Briefs September 29, 2014

Navy awards ship design grant to UNO The University of New Orleans has received a $210,000 grant from the Navy s Office of Naval Research to test information gathering and analysis techniques intended to improve warship design. The goal for warship designers is to produce a vessel that can be repurposed numerous times throughout its...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

TACP-M ties it all together

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Lealan Buehrer Tactical air control party specialists with the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron survey an enemy-controlled landing zone before calling in close-air support Aug. 14, 20...
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Nellis aggressor squadron inactivated

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler SSgt. Justin White signals to Maj. Sam Joplin to begin taxiing a 65th Aggressor Squadron F-15 Eagle to the runway Sept. 18, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base Nev. The roles and responsib...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

82nd Airborne helps commemorate 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden

Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger A paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, reflects near the grave of a British paratrooper at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Sept. 14, 2014, in the Netherlands. The...
 
 

Raytheon awarded $251 million Tomahawk missile contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon a $251 million contract to procure Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missiles for fiscal year 2014 with an option for 2015. The contract calls for Raytheon to build and deliver Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to the U.S. Navy and U.K. Royal Navy. Raytheon will also conduct flight tests...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>