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Sunday, November 26, 2006

NGAUS Notes: 11/24/2006

Board Approves '07 Budget, '09 Conference Location.
Association business dominated NGAUS board of directors meeting at The National Guard Memorial in Washington, D.C., last weekend.

Meeting for first time under Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, new chairman, the board approved an $11.9 million consolidated 2007 budget for the association, the NGAUS-Insurance Trust and the National Guard Educational Foundation.

The association's portion of the budget includes operation of the memorial building, which has 175,000 square feet of fully leased office space in addition to the NGAUS headquarters, a library and a museum.

Projected revenues for 2007 fully cover expenditures in the spending plan. Building rent, membership dues and the proceeds from insurance, conference exhibit magazine advertising sales are the leading sources of income.

Board members also filled two board vacancies, electing Brig. Gen. Hugh Broomall of Delaware and Col. Deborah Ashenhurst of Ohio to serve as Air and Army representatives, respectively, for Area II.

General Broomall will fill the unexpired term of Col. Allyson R. Soloman of Maryland, who resigned, while Col. Ashenhurst replaces Brig. Gen. Norman E. Arflack of Kentucky, who was elected vice chair (Army) at the conference in September.

In addition, board members also approved a bid from Tennessee to host the 131st NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 11 to 13, 2009.

They also reaffirmed March 31 as the Early Bird membership rebate cutoff date and approved holding a new train-the-trainer membership workshop in Washington early next year.

The board continues to work on a NGAUS strategic plan and further develop the conference's officer professional development program.

Guard, Reserve Troop Rotations Unchanged.
The National Guard and Reserves are still operating under the same rules for mobilization length, and no troops have been mobilized for longer than the allowed 24 cumulative months, the top Defense Department official for reserve affairs said Nov. 17.

The current law allows President Bush to mobilize up to a million Guardsmen and Reservists for 24 consecutive months, but Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made the decision to make the rule 24 cumulative months, to relieve stress on the force, said Thomas F. Hall, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, in an interview.

Mr. Hall explained that the 24-consecutive-months rule, in the strictest sense, could actually see a Guardsman mobilized up until one day short of the two-year mark, and then remobilized after a one-day break.

Using the cumulative rule allows the Reservist or Guardsman to maintain balance among military service, family and employer, Mr. Hall said.

"We need to maintain that balance so that our employers will continue to support us, [and] our families will continue to support us," he said. "As you would well understand, if you donÕt get that support as a Guardsman or Reservist, it's very hard for you to serve."

Currently no Guardsmen or Reservists have been involuntarily mobilized longer than 24 cumulative months, and DoD thinks this could be a sustainable arrangement, he said.

However, Pentagon officials are always looking at force requirements, and could switch to the consecutive rule, he said.

Recent media reports suggest that the likelihood of such a change will increase in the months ahead.

NBC: Youth ChalleNGe Story Now Set for Friday.
The NBC Nightly News story on the California National Guard's Youth ChalleNGe program set to air Monday will now be part of the Friday newscast, according to NBC. The telecast airs at 6:30 or 7p.m Eastern Time depending on the market.

NORAD Ready for Santa Tracking on Christmas Eve.
In advance of the holiday season and its 51st season of tracking Santa Claus on his annual journey around the world, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) last Friday activated its "NORAD Tracks Santa" Web site (NORAD Santa) for 2006.

The program began in 1955 when an errant phone call was made to NORAD's predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. A child had dialed a misprinted telephone number in a local newspaper and reached NORAD instead.

The commander who answered the phone gave the youngster Santa's whereabouts, and the Santa tracking tradition began.

The program has grown since its first appearance on the Internet in 1998. Last year, the Web site received 912 million hits from 204 countries. On Christmas Eve, aided by 550 volunteers, the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations answered nearly 55,000 phone calls and nearly 98,000 e-mails from children around the world.

The Web site features the history of the program, information on how NORAD tracks Santa and games. On Dec. 24, beginning at 2 a.m. Mountain Time, the Web site will post a minute-by-minute update on Santa's travels. All of this information is available English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

Island Web Studios, America Online, Akami, Analytical Graphics, Globelink Language and Cultural Services, Qwest Communications, Verizon, and Microsoft Virtual Earth help to make the program possible, NORAD officials said.

Communications Dept. Seeks Seasoned Staff Writer.
The National Guard Association has an immediate opening for an experienced staff writer. Selected candidate will contribute to National Guard, the association's monthly magazine, NGAUS Notes and the NGAUS Web site.

Duties include writing short news stories and covering a variety of hearings on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

For the magazine, the successful candidate will contribute at least one substantial feature story each month and assist in editing and producing the final product. Some travel is required.

Candidates must have five years of reporting experience. Familiarity with the military and the National Guard is preferred.

Interest in writing about military/legislative topics a must. Car required. Salary: low- to mid-40s. Excellent benefits include health and dental coverage and a 401k plan. Convenient Capitol Hill location.

Please send cover letter, resume and three writing samples to:
Communications Department
National Guard Association of the United States
One Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Fax: 202-682-9358
E-mail: Chris Prawdzik.
Please enter "Application" in the subject line if sending e-mail.

This Week in Guard History.
Nov. 22, 1970: Hensley Field, Texas - Second Lt. Constance Kries is welcomed back to the Texas Air National Guard's 136th Air Refueling Wing, after completing her officer training school (OTS) course leading to her commission.

She becomes the first Air Guard woman to complete the course, opened to female Guard personnel in early 1970. She not only finishes the course but is the Class 70-04 Distinguished Graduate, ending the course as class leader.

Women were authorized to join the Guard starting in 1956 but the only positions available to them were for existing nurses or other college-educated specialties, such as law or administration. Military schools were not available to them until Congress changed regulations in 1969 to allow female candidates.

NGAUS History.
NGAUS influenced Guard transformation between World War I and II, when the National Defense Act of 1920 gave Guard leaders a listening post within the War Department. This was the Militia Bureau, which was charged with issuance of supplies, uniforms and equipment to the states for their Guard units.

The association's objectives included a consolidation of footholds within the bureau and an increase in its freedom from the general staff's uniformed bungling of routine Guard affairs.

The end result of the act had been a settlement of major issues and the plotting of the Guard's future, but NGAUS was still unsatisfied with a few minor items.

Among them was the motorization of National Guard artillery regiments over Army opposition because of a professional belief in horses for the rugged southwest along the Mexican frontier.
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