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.


 
 

 
Navy photograph

Future USNS Fall River delivered

Navy photograph The joint high speed vessel USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) completes acceptance trials testing and evaluations in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship’s trials included dockside testing to clear the ship for sea and at-...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie

Air Force leaders discuss nuclear enterprise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, speaks at the The Nuclear Enterprise panel during the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology...
 

 
Army photograph

Night turns into day: Army researchers enable night lethality

Army photograph In complete dark from significant standoff, Soldiers use medium wave infrared technology to turn night into day. In science fiction, technology problems are solved with the stroke of a writer’s pen. In rea...
 
 

Breedlove: U.S. reconsidering troop reductions in Europe

NATOís Supreme Allied Commander Europe said today that Pentagon leaders are reviewing decisions to scale down U.S. military forces in Europe in light of the changing security environment on the continent triggered by Russiaís annexation of Ukraineís Crimean peninsula and Moscowís ongoing support for rebels in the east. I have talked to leadership here about...
 
 
Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Scott Wilcox

Aerial target QF-16 takes to the sky

Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Scott Wilcox The first unmanned QF-16 Viper struck down over the Gulf of Mexico Sept. 5, 2014, was part of a joint effort between the Test and Training Division at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., an...
 




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>