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Heads of reserve components discuss issues; Guard leaders point to successes and challenges for the future
Maj. Gen. Raymond W. Carpenter, special assistant to the director of the Army National Guard, talks about the effectiveness of the Guard's Agriculture Development Teams in Afghanistan at the reserve component chief's panel discussion at the Reserve Officers Association's Annual Mid-winter Conference and Reserve Component Expo Feb. 3 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington. He's flanked by Maj. Gen. Emmett R. Titshaw Jr. (left) of the Air National Guard.; and Maj. Gen. Kelly K. McKeague (right), chief of staff at the National Guard Bureau. (Photo by Master Sgt. Greg Rudl, National Guard Bureau.)
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Heads of reserve components discuss issues; Guard leaders point to successes and challenges for the future

Posted 2/4/2009   Updated 3/11/2009 Email story   Print story

    


by Air Force Master Sgt. Greg Rudl
National Guard Bureau


2/4/2009 - WASHINGTON -- Having enough equipment for domestic response missions, providing support services to warriors and families, and forging international partnerships were just a few of the topics discussed by Army and Air Guard leaders during a panel hosted here Feb. 3 by the Reserve Officers Association.

The reserve component's top leaders discussed their service's state of affairs and took questions during the event, which was held at the ROA's Annual Mid-winter Conference and Reserve Component Expo at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Maj. Gen. Raymond W. Carpenter, special assistant to the director of the Army National Guard, touted the effectiveness of the Guard's Agriculture Development Teams in Afghanistan. He also said that the Army Guard's equipment shortfall is being addressed.


"The governors looked to the National Guard for support in their domestic missions ... and in some cases they were handicapped because they didn't have the equipment necessary to respond. That, along with along with transformation, generated an initiative to equip the National Guard," he said.

Carpenter said that since 2003, almost $24 billion of equipment has been appropriated for the Army Guard, with another $5 billion expected this year.
And, he added, "We are doing a better job of tracking equipment from acquisition to delivery."

Maj. Gen Emmett R. Titshaw Jr., who was until just recently the acting director of the Air National Guard, talked about the three enduring priorities of the Air National Guard: winning the war on terrorism and defending the home front, developing adaptable Citizen-Airmen, and understanding the transitioning from a platform-based organization to a capabilities-based one.

As of today, over 11,000 Air National Guard members are mobilized, Titshaw said, and of those, 8,700 volunteered for duty. He said that the citizen-warrior spirit of volunteerism must be maintained in the Air Guard.

Titshaw also addressed the recapitalization needs of the Air Guard. "The procurement holiday of the 90's has created the dynamic that we are seeing [today]," he said. "In 2005, the National Guard had 19 F-16 units.

"In 2018, we'll have four. We'll have to find a way to address that. Part of the answer is that we'll have to transition from platform-centric organization to capabilities-based organizations."

He said that in these tough budgetary times, the reserves offer great value and told those in the audience to seize the opportunity: "We can deliver combat capability for this nation, and we can do it in a cost-effective manner."

Maj. Gen Kelly K. McKeague, the chief of staff of the National Guard Bureau, said the Commission on the National Guard and Reserve recognized the "great operational force that the Guard and Reserve offers."

In regards to domestic response, he said that right now there are about 10,000 Guardmembers on duty, many of whom are in Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas helping residents cope with the effects of a massive ice storm.

To help Guardmembers and their families cope with deployments, McKeague said that the Guard's 54 Joint Force Headquarters in states and territories will be providing support services to geographically-separated reservists.

"Because our reservists are dispersed and often far away from a (Veterans
Administration) facility or an active-duty installation ... our colleagues up here all share a common vision" that they should have access to all the warrior and family care programs that their active-duty counterparts receive at military installations in large cities, he said.

There are 2,136 National Guard members in the 65,000-member Reserve Officers Association, which is a congressionally-chartered association that advises the Congress and the president on issues of national security on behalf of all members of the reserve component.




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