National Guard Looks to the Future: Direction for 2011

As a National Guard wife now, I’ve found myself craving information about the military, and especially the National Guard. When I ran across this article in the National Guard News this morning, I went investigating further, simply for curiosity’s sake.

The chief of the National Guard Bureau shared at the National Guard Bureau’s Domestic Operations Workshop that relationship building (with homeland peoples and organizations) is a goal for the National Guard in 2011. General Craig McKinley shared that, the National Guard’s ability to respond to a domestic response depends largely on relationships established prior to an incident, especially in the homeland. The National Guard has been prepared for overseas missions (especially in the recent years of war), and now General Craig McKinley spoke about their preparedness for homeland missions.

The National Guard is fielding two Homeland Response Teams this year, one in Washington and the other in Ohio, with the goal to field more in the future. General Craig McKinley also committed the National Guard to participating in this years National Level Emergency exercise. General Craig McKinley’s goal is to provide a homeland response team that is ready and flexible.

Reading this article this morning naturally caused me to wonder who General Craig McKinley is and what his job is.  As Chief, he is the senior uniformed National Guard officer responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, programs and plans affecting more than half a million Army and Air National Guard personnel. In short, this man’s leadership affect’s my husband’s and friend’s jobs directly, and many, if not all of us, indirectly.

In September of last year, General McKinley committed 55,000 to 60,000 Army Guardsmen, out of a force of 370,000, to overseas combat deployments for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately I’m not sure how this compares to the National Guard deployment numbers for 2010 or 2009. Regardless though, there are far more National Guard soldiers deploying than I originally thought prior to this past year.  Last year, General Craig McKinley said that his goal was to balance foreign and homeland missions with the National Guard. There is debate over how funds should be spent and where they should be spent

Please be praying for our National Guard leaders, for God to give them wisdom and guidance as they move into 2011.

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