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Friday, January 26, 2007

NGAUS Legislative Update: 1/26/2007

What’s Happening In Congress?

Petraeus’Awaiting Confirmation.
Army Lieutenant General David H. Patraeus received overwhelming support yesterday with a 25-0 vote from the Senate Armed Serves Committee for his endorsement as the new Iraq Multi-National Force Commander. The full Senate will consider his nomination today and will likely give him overwhelming support as well. Patraeus has extensive experience in Iraq, commanding the 101st Airborne Division during the invasion in 2003 and also serving as the lead trainer of Iraqi forces. Patraeus has recently assisted in writing the Army’s revised manual on counterinsurgency doctrine.

An End to Stop-Loss.
As the new Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates has recently outlined new guidelines for the deployment policies of both active duty and reserve forces. Gates directive has asked for plans to minimize the use of the stop-loss policy by the end of February. This plan comes at the same time that the President has ordered an increase in the number of troops in Iraq by 21,500. This increase in the troop level could generate stop-loss orders which in effect would extend the tours for troops already in Iraq. A stop-loss order has been in effect since November 2002 for National Guard and Reserve units activated for the war on terrorism.

This plan to reduce stop-loss comes alongside some other proposed changes. The new idea is that reserve force members will now have an involuntary mobilization time of one year followed by five years at their home stations. Mobilization for ground combat and combat support will also be managed on a unit basis rather than an individual augmentee basis. Gates has warned however, that the current demands may not allow these initiatives to work in every circumstance. A number of Guard and Reserve members may temporarily need to be mobilized sooner than outlined. The intention is that this will only be temporary. Gates is working out an incentives program for those in both the active and reserve forces that deploy earlier and often, or are forced to extend their tours of duty longer.

What’s Happening At NGAUS?

NGEDA Conference
The annual meeting of the National Guard Executive Directors Association was held this week in San Juan, Puerto Rico to facilitate planning of the 129th NGAUS Conference in August. Brigadier General (ret.) Stephen Koper along with Brigadier General (ret.) Richard Green and all of the other NGAUS department directors attended this meeting.

Resolutions Packages.
The resolutions packages for consideration at the 2007 state association conferences and for final consideration at the 129th NGAUS General Conference will be sent out to all states today. These are draft resolutions and will be accompanied by a memorandum, a table of contents, and a task force assignment for each resolution. Look for the resolutions package to arrive by email later today.

State Visits Schedule.
Listed below are the currently scheduled state association visits to the NGAUS Memorial Building in Washington D.C. These dates represent events such as breakfasts, lunches, briefings, and receptions. Every state association is welcome to use the NGAUS building in order to host an event for your Guard members and your state Congressional delegation. If interested contact Emily Breitbach at emily.breitbach@ngaus.org for a state visits/receptions request form.

February.
6 Montana, Tennessee
7 Connecticut
7-8 Arkansas
14 Texas

March.
1 Wisconsin
6 Pennsylvania
7 Illinois

CACO Conference to be held on March 5-6, 2007.
The 2007 Congressional Action Contact Officers Conference will focus on how to deliver your legislative message to Congress. Highlights will include a briefing from Pennsylvania CACO Brigadier General Stanley Jaworski on his state’s program of hosting Congressional visits; panel presentations from Hill staffers on how to successfully communicate with Congress; and an overview presentation from NGAUS Director of Army Activities, Chris DeBatt, on understanding the Congressional process. NGAUS will also give grassroots primers on using its website to contact Congress and using letters to the editor to support Guard legislative issues. We will break early Monday afternoon for visits to the Hill followed by the Congressional reception at Bullfeathers from 6:00 - 8:00 pm featuring an open bar and famous appetizers.

If you have not already registered for this event make sure to do so by completing the registration form and making your hotel reservations at the Phoenix Park Hotel.
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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
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