USA — McKinley Reviews National Guard’s Contribution

ARLINGTON, Va. — In response to Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates’ effort to find effi­cien­cies through­out the ser­vices, the Nation­al Guard is tak­ing a hard look at how it oper­ates.

Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKin­ley, chief of the Nation­al Guard Bureau, kicked off the Guard’s effort by releas­ing a report titled, “The Nation­al Guard: A Great Val­ue for Amer­i­ca,” which will guide efforts to improve effi­cien­cy at the bureau and push resources to the oper­a­tional force. 

In May, Gates called for a 2 to 3 per­cent reduc­tion in over­head costs in the fis­cal 2012 defense bud­get request, with the mon­ey saved being ded­i­cat­ed to force struc­ture. McKin­ley said the Nation­al Guard plays an impor­tant role in achiev­ing the secretary’s goals. The Guard adds val­ue to Amer­i­ca by sup­port­ing domes­tic mis­sions and defend­ing the nation’s inter­ests over­seas with our active duty coun­ter­parts, he said. 

“While America’s mil­i­tary rep­re­sents a bal­ance between what this coun­try needs to guar­an­tee its secu­ri­ty and what we can afford, the Nation­al Guard deliv­ers an excep­tion­al val­ue in this secu­ri­ty equa­tion,” McKin­ley said. 

In 2010, the Army Nation­al Guard has con­sumed less than 11 per­cent of the Army’s bud­get while pro­vid­ing almost 40 per­cent of the Army’s oper­at­ing force, Guard offi­cials said. The Air Nation­al Guard has oper­at­ed on less than 7 per­cent of the Air Force’s bud­get dur­ing this fis­cal year, and it cur­rent­ly com­pris­es about one-third of the Air Force’s capa­bil­i­ty. “These same forces also stand ready to save lives and ease suf­fer­ing at home because of our Nation­al Guard’s ‘dual mis­sion’ nature,” McKin­ley said. “What­ev­er peo­ple, exper­tise and equip­ment we main­tain as America’s oper­a­tional reserve can also be used here on the home­front in a vari­ety of mis­sions that direct­ly ben­e­fit Amer­i­can citizens.” 

The val­ue that the Nation­al Guard brings to the nation is unde­ni­able, the gen­er­al said. “As every­one in the Depart­ment of Defense con­tin­ues to nav­i­gate this fis­cal­ly con­strained envi­ron­ment, it is crit­i­cal for defense plan­ners and deci­sion-mak­ers to under­stand the great ben­e­fit that the Nation­al Guard brings as a dual-use mil­i­tary force,” McKin­ley said. “And rest assured that the Nation­al Guard is work­ing to inden­ti­fy fur­ther effi­cien­cies that offer even greater val­ue to America.” 

After near­ly 374 years of suc­cess­ful­ly meet­ing the nation’s needs, McKin­ley said, the Nation­al Guard intends to stay rel­e­vant for gen­er­a­tions to come. 

“As the Depart­ment of Defense con­tin­ues to work inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to the chang­ing fis­cal and glob­al secu­ri­ty envi­ron­ments, it would be hard to imag­ine what an Amer­i­ca with­out its Nation­al Guard would look like,” he said. 

At home, the Guard’s exper­tise includes the air supe­ri­or­i­ty mis­sion, which is per­formed by the Air Nation­al Guard, response to nat­ur­al dis­as­ters across the coun­try and emerg­ing mis­sions, such as secu­ri­ty sup­port on the south­west bor­der and oil cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mex­i­co, Guard offi­cials said. 

Over­seas, the Guard’s pres­ence is strong­ly felt as well. About three-quar­ters of today’s Nation­al Guard have deployed in sup­port of Oper­a­tions Endur­ing Free­dom or Iraqi Free­dom, Guard offi­cials said. Almost 25 per­cent of the Guard’s cur­rent force has deployed more than once in sup­port of these oper­a­tions. Guards­men are also serv­ing in the Balka­ns, Guan­tanamo Bay and the Sinai. 

“Togeth­er with the active com­po­nents, we can ful­fill crit­i­cal over­seas com­mit­ments that oth­er­wise would sim­ply be impos­si­ble to sus­tain,” McKin­ley said. 

He said it also takes sac­ri­fice from the Guard’s sol­diers and air­men and their fam­i­lies and employ­ers, who must endure the long sep­a­ra­tions of a com­bat deployment. 

“Our val­ue propo­si­tion, along with all we’re called upon to do at home and abroad to keep Amer­i­cans safe, makes for one potent force to con­front America’s ene­mies and haz­ards at home,” McKin­ley said. “I don’t think there’s ever been a bet­ter or more impor­tant time to be part of the Guard fam­i­ly, and I thank each fam­i­ly mem­ber from the bot­tom of my heart for all they do.” 

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 →