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.


 
 

 
Army photograph by Marie Berberea

Sill simulator trains Stinger crews

Army photograph by Marie Berberea Army National Guardsmen Spec. Gabe Lindley of North Dakota holds a Man-Portable Air Defense System while Spc. Stephen Shafer from Ohio points to a possible enemy aircraft. The two trained Aug. ...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

AEDC and AFRL collaborate to make advances in hypersonic technology

Air Force photograph by Mike Smith As part of the U.S.-German cooperative program known as Hypersonic International Flight Experimentation, an integrated aerodynamic and aerothermal test and analysis of a hypersonic cruise vehi...
 
 

Minuteman III rocket motor aging surveillance test completed at AEDC

Arnold Engineering Development Complex personnel completed testing of a Minuteman III Stage II motor in the Complex’s J-6 Large Rocket Test Facility for aging surveillance of the 48-year-old defense program. “The Stage II motor is part of the Minuteman III Aging and Surveillance test program to obtain motor performance data that is used to identify...
 

 
navair-triton

MQ-4C Tritons to arrive at Pax River this fall

  MQ-4C Triton test air vehicles at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., will fly cross-country to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., this fall. The MQ-4C completed a test flight Aug. 19 with updated ...
 
 
global-hawk2

Air Combat Command loans Global Hawk to GVCTF

Air Force photograph by Jennifer Romo The 412th Test Wing’s Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command. Tail number 2035, from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., is jo...
 
 
C130b

C-130 Hercules still going strong at 60

Air Force photograph The C-130H Hercules dons the new eight-blade NP-2000 propellers. The 418th Flight Test Squadron replaced the C-130H Hercules’ four-bladed propellers with the eight-bladed propellers in 2008 in support...
 




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>