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Friday, January 12, 2007

NGAUS Legislative Update: 1/12/2007

What’s Happening In Congress?
Upcoming CNGR hearing on “Empowerment”

On Wednesday, January 31, The Commission on the National Guard and Reserves will hear testimony from General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dr. Francis J. Harvey, Secretary of the Army, and Lt. General H. Steven Blum, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. The Commission is making final preparations for its March 1 deadline to submit a report to Congress on legislative proposals to increase the responsibilities of National Guard leadership and to make changes to organization and funding. Further information on the location and witness schedule will be posted at: CNGR.gov.

Secretary Gates and General Pace on Iraq Policy.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General Peter Pace testified at the House Armed Services Committee’s hearing on the situation in Iraq. Secretary Gates announced that he is recommending to the President a permanent increase of 92,000 soldiers and Marines over the next five years. The increase includes 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines with an emphasis on increasing combat capability. Gates also discussed policies on managing and deploying members of the Guard and Reserves. Guard units will be recalled on an accelerated basis until the current OEF/OIF conflict has been stabilized. Changes in policy will include mobilization of ground reserve forces on a unit basis rather than an individual basis in an effort to increase unit cohesion. Members of the Guard and Reserves will also be involuntarily mobilized for a maximum of one year at a time, as opposed to the current practice of sixteen to twenty-four months. These shortened periods of mobilization are to be made possible by significantly reducing post-mobilization training times. Training responsibilities and certifications are to be delegated to Adjutants General and unit commanders.

These new responsibilities make it even more critical that National Guard units be provided- immediately – with validated full-time manning, have equipment set, and funding for training.

Secretary Gates and General Pace will be testifying on the same topic to the Senate Armed Services Committee Today at 9:30 am.

What’s Happening At NGAUS?
2007 CACO Seminar: March 5 to 6 - Make Your Reservations Now!

Time is running out to reserve your room at a reduced rate at the Phoenix Park Hotel. The reservation must be made no later than Friday, February 2nd by calling 1-800-824-5419 or going to Phoenix Park Hotel and entering the internet group code 29489.

Group room rates (net of all taxes) are as follows:

Single: $199.00
Double: $229.00
Triple: $259.00
Quads: $289.00

To sharpen your legislative focus this year’s CACO Conference will feature a primer on effective grass roots letter writing, separate panel discussions from Congressional staffers, military liaisons and professionals from area think tanks to discuss media related issues and the National Guard. We will also return to Bullfeathers on Capitol Hill for our Monday evening Congressional reception that will feature an open bar and the famous Bullfeathers’ appetizers. If you are planning to attend the CACO Seminar, it is not too early to touch base with MLAs from your congressional delegation so they can save the date.

Send your reservations in ASAP! For questions contact Emily Breitbach at Emily Breitbach or at (202) 545-5326.

State Visits are Filling the Schedule.
The states scheduled to visit the NGAUS headquarters as of now are:

16th and 17th - Kentucky
23rd – Montana

7th – Connecticut
7th and 8th – Arkansas
14th- TexasMarch

1st – Wisconsin
6th- Pennsylvania
21st- North Dakota

If your state has not yet scheduled a visit to Washington, and are planning to do so, contact Emily Breitbach at Emily Breifbach for a NGAUS state request form so we can confirm your visit on our calendar and reserve space here in the NGAUS Memorial Building.

State Association Conferences.
The National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) has been the voice on Capitol Hill for the national Guard since 1878. However, despite our non-stop efforts to obtain the policies and resources that assure readiness and quality of life for our members, some still ask the question “what has the Association done for us lately?”

We would like to answer that question, in person, by being part of your state association conference. Give us a call and we will coordinate to have one of our staff attend your conference to make a short presentation as to what NGAUS has done and is doing on behalf of our 45,000 members. If you are interested, please contact Chris Debatt, our Army Programs Manager, at Chris Debatt or (202)408-5899.

Published by the NGAUS Legislative Staff:
Brig Gen (ret) Richard M. Green, Director
Col (ret) Pete Duffy, Deputy Director
Chris DeBatt, Army Programs
Bernie Phelps, Senior Legislative Analyst
Emily Breitbach, Legislative Analyst

For more information on NGAUS, check out our website: NGAUS.org.
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