Donley Lauds Air Guard’s Capability, Reach

WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2010 — The Air Force’s senior civil­ian said the Air Nation­al Guard leads the way in pro­vid­ing “max­i­mum com­bat pow­er when and where the nation needs it, with the absolute best val­ue for each and every tax­pay­er dol­lar.”
“Our nation’s glob­al reach, as it exists today, would be impos­si­ble with­out the con­tri­bu­tions of the Guard,” Air Force Sec­re­tary Michael B. Don­ley said last week dur­ing remarks at the Air Nation­al Guard’s 2010 Senior Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence here.

Don­ley, the conference’s keynote speak­er, focused on the role the Air Guard has in the Air Force and the future of the total force ini­tia­tive. “As the guar­an­tors of the Air Force’s con­tract with the Amer­i­can peo­ple to keep our skies safe, you have been annu­al­ly respon­si­ble for 94 per­cent of our alert sites and up to 60 per­cent of the active inter­cepts of per­form­ing the air sov­er­eign­ty mis­sion,” he said. 

Don­ley also acknowl­edged the oper­a­tional impor­tance of the Guard to Iraq and Afghanistan mis­sions. “Your con­tri­bu­tions were crit­i­cal to the move­ment of over five mil­lion tons of car­go and 13 mil­lion pas­sen­gers to Afghanistan,” he said. “And that was before the surge even began.” 

In addi­tion to bring­ing glob­al vig­i­lance and reach, the Air Guard also pro­vides glob­al pow­er to the fight with 29 per­cent of the Air Force’s fight­er attack air­craft. “Guard fight­ers pro­vide close air sup­port, dom­i­nat­ing the high ground through armed watch over ground patrols and some­times shap­ing insur­gent behav­ior with sim­ply a loud and time­ly show of force,” Don­ley said. 

“Sup­port­ing the joint fight … the Guard has been pro­vid­ing 25 per­cent of all remote­ly pilot­ed air­craft sor­ties,” he said. “Not to men­tion the pro­cess­ing, exploita­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion of the infor­ma­tion that they collect.” 

Final­ly, Air Guard res­cue units have deployed repeat­ed­ly and per­formed hero­ical­ly by recov­er­ing ser­vice­mem­bers with crit­i­cal bat­tle­field injuries from hot land­ing zones, he said. “These mis­sions and oth­ers that the Guard is per­form­ing are crit­i­cal to our suc­cess in Afghanistan and Iraq, where we are count­ed on by our joint and coali­tion part­ners to pro­vide glob­al vig­i­lance,” he said. “In a sim­i­lar fash­ion … over half of our air­lift and refu­el­ing fleet is oper­at­ed by the reserve com­po­nent, with 40 per­cent of our air-refu­el­ing capa­bil­i­ty alone resid­ing in the Guard. 

“Each of you and your units has con­tributed to the suc­cess of our total force,” he said. 

Don­ley also rec­og­nized that all of these mis­sions were accom­plished by tra­di­tion­al Guards­men, who have fam­i­lies back home. 

“Many of you are accom­plish­ing all of this while bal­anc­ing a full-time civil­ian job and fam­i­ly,” he said. “I still don’t know how you do it all.” 

One key is the Guard’s Yel­low Rib­bon Pro­gram, which pro­vides infor­ma­tion, ser­vices, refer­rals and proac­tive out­reach opportunities. 

“I am espe­cial­ly impressed with your rapid deploy­ment of air­men and fam­i­ly readi­ness pro­gram man­agers,” Don­ley said. “You find unique and inno­v­a­tive ways to reach out to fam­i­ly mem­bers that are often dis­bursed geo­graph­i­cal­ly across your state.” 

Don­ley said he also is impressed with the reach of the Air Guard with 106,700 mem­bers in 88 wings and 200 geo­graph­i­cal­ly sep­a­rat­ed units around the country. 

“Your geo­graph­ic foot­print … can also help make us a more diverse and stronger Air Force,” he said. “In some states, Guard instal­la­tions rep­re­sent the only Air Force pres­ence, mak­ing you a crit­i­cal link from the total force to the state and local communities. 

“Beyond your geo­graph­ic reach, you’re also bring­ing diver­si­ty because of the civil­ian per­spec­tives and vary­ing skill sets you bring to your work,” he said. 

Don­ley said the Air Force’s senior lead­er­ship is proud of the Air Guard’s com­mit­ment to the states and the country. 

“It is the sus­tained com­mit­ment of the Nation­al Guard that has helped give mean­ing to the term ‘total force’ in com­mu­ni­ties across Amer­i­ca,” he said. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →