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Friday, March 30, 2007

LEGIT: 30 March 2007

What’s Happening In Congress?

Senate National Guard Caucus Breakfast
On March 27, the Senate National Guard Caucus held its annual breakfast to present issues facing the National Guard to the attention of caucus members and their staff. In addition to the leaders from the National Guard Bureau, TAGs from Vermont, Delaware and Virginia were also able to attend. Members of the caucus who were there include Senators Leahy (VT), Tester (MT), Casey (PA) and Brown (OH).

HASC Hearing on Guard Readiness
On March 28, the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Readiness held a hearing concerning the readiness of the National Guard. As evidenced by Members’ questions, a growing concern for Congress is the state of the Air National Guard in the post-BRAC environment. Representative Solomon Ortiz (TX), chair of the subcommittee, stated that he is especially interested in addressing the 10 percent cut in flying hours that he believes will negatively impact Air National Guard readiness.

NGREA in FY07 Supplemental
Senators Leahy and Bond have once again added funds for Army Guard equipment to the Department of Defense budget, this time in the FY07 Supplemental. The Senators originally requested $5 billion be put in the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, and were able to work with their colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee to agree that $1 billion was needed this fiscal year for Army Guard equipment.

Congress will be in recess
House: April 2 to 13
Senate: April 2 to 9

During this time, your state could greatly benefit from a visit by your Representatives or Senators. This can be anything from attending an award ceremony or taking them for a ride-along in a vehicle or aircraft. Create opportunities for your Representatives, Senators and their staff to see your operations first hand. NGAUS can help you navigate the process of setting up these visits, both on the NGB/LL side and with the Representative or Senator’s office. You can also contact Lt. Ashley Mitias with NGB/LL at (703) 607-2770 or ashley.mitias@ngb.ang.af.mil for more information. The clock is running for the 110th Congress, take advantage of this program as much as possible.

This will also be a good time to talk with your Representatives and Senators about the Guard Empowerment Act and why it is important to you. Education is the key to victory.

What’s Happening At NGAUS?
Update on “Write To Congress” Stats

Current numbers for messages sent this year are:
585 messages were sent this week.
3410 messages have been sent this year.
994 messages on Guard Empowerment.
2253 messages were sent on TRICARE fee increases.

Top 5 States:
1. Tennessee - 328 messages
2. Missouri - 180 messages
3. Oklahoma - 165 messages
4. Mississippi - 158 messages
5. California - 155 messages

Our Goal for 2007: 54,000 messages

We are 50,590 messages away from meeting our goal! Keep writing your Senators and Representatives. Also, make sure to share the “Write to Congress” tool with your friends and family.

Rich Green, Director
Pete Duffy, Deputy Director
Chris DeBatt, Army Programs
Emily Breitbach, Air Programs
Bernie Phelps, Senior Legislative Analyst

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


NGAUS Notes: 3/30/2007

New TFI Phase Focuses on Emerging Air Guard Missions
Air Force officials announced this week the next phase of Total Force Integration (TFI), which includes nearly 140 missions and represents a compilation of all previous TFI phases and efforts.

More than 90 of these initiatives have funds, and approximately 45 percent are associations among active-component, Guard and/or Reserve forces.

The remaining 55 percent are new, emerging or stand-alone missions. In the coming months, officials will announce specific initiatives, as appropriate.

TFI already has impacted the Guard across the country.

For example, the California Air Guard's 163rd Air Reconnaissance Wing transitioned in just one year from flying the KC-135 tanker to flying operational Predator missions in support of the Global War on Terror from its home station at March Air Reserve Base.

The Air Force Reserve Command's classic association at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, will bring the active and reserve forces together on the nation's premier fifth generation fighter aircraft, the F-22A Raptor.

"Total Force Integration incorporates innovative organizational constructs to create a smaller, more capable, force structure leveraging increased capability from new technology and capitalizing on the wealth of talent and experiences across the active duty, Guard and Reserve functions," said Lt. Gen. Craig R. McKinley, Air Guard director. "Ensuring a seamless capability across our three service components provides America a more lethal and capable air, space and cyberspace force."

TFI initiatives span the entire Air Force mission spectrum from unmanned aerial systems, intelligence operations, logistics, civil support, training, myriad flying platforms, space and cyberspace.

NGAUS Award Nominations Due May 1
Nominations for the 2007 NGAUS Individual Awards must arrive at the association's headquarters postmarked by May 1 to qualify for this year's program.

Award nominees for the 10 separate individual awards should be people who have demonstrated exceptionally outstanding service, committed acts of heroism or who have contributed significantly to National Guard effectiveness.

Honorees numbered more than 100 last year and included members of Congress, governors, state legislators, community leaders and National Guardsmen of all ranks and experience levels.

Most categories require an adjutant general endorsement, but state Guard associations may send their nominations directly to NGAUS.

A five-person standing awards committee will review the nominees and make recommendations to the NGAUS board of directors, which has final approval.

The association will announce award winners in July. Winners may receive their awards during the business sessions at the 129th NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition, Aug. 25 to 27 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. NGAUS reimburses the $125 conference registration fee to all individual award recipients who attend.

NGAUS will present awards not distributed at the conference at a later date. NGAUS mailed complete awards program information - including criteria and nomination forms - to each state headquarters and Guard association and the National Guard Bureau in February.

Nominations should be sent to:

NGAUS Awards Program
One Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Award information is available in the "About NGAUS" section at NGAUS. Contact Richard Arnold for additional questions about the program at (888) 226-4287.

Assessment Says VA Facilitites in Good Working Order
Dr. Michael Kussman, Veterans Affairs' acting undersecretary for heath says that a review of the 1,400 hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other facilities where veterans receive health care concludes most deficiencies involve "normal wear and tear."

"The overwhelming majority of issues identified by this special review are the kinds of items you would expect to find - and see being addressed - in an organization with nearly 150 million square feet of space where 1 million patients come each week," he said.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson ordered the review March 7 in the wake of news reports about poor outpatient housing facilities at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. - a non-VA health care facility.

Dr. Kussman said the Department's $519 million maintenance budget for this year, coupled with $573 million proposed for next year, should take care of maintenance shortcomings.

If additional funds are needed, VA pledged to work with congressional committees to identify how to best address those needs.

"VA facilities are inspected more frequently than any other health-care facilities in the nation," Dr. Kussman said. "We will continue to monitor closely the progress of corrective action identified by this special report."

VA operates the largest integrated health care system in the United States, with 155 hospitals, nearly 900 outpatient clinics and 135 nursing homes. VA treated more than 5.4 million patients last year, accounting for about 55 million outpatient visits and 600,000 hospitalizations.

Military Intelligence Scholarships Available
The Military Intelligence Corps Association (MICA) is accepting applications through May 15 for undergraduate scholarships for family members of active-, reserve-component and retired soldiers who are MICA members.

Students may use scholarships for attendance at regionally accredited colleges, universities or state-approved vocational schools. Applicants must have acceptance at an institution of higher education and be pursuing their first undergraduate degree or a technical certificate.

Previous MICA scholarship recipients may compete for subsequent scholarships.

Eligible applicants must be a military intelligence soldier or the family member of an MI soldier who is serving in the active or reserve component, or who is a retired MI soldier. Family members are considered spouses, children or immediate relatives living with or supported by the qualifying soldier.

Instructions and application forms are available at MICA. MICA is the professional association of the U.S. Army's Military Intelligence Corps.

NGAUS History
NGAUS representatives testified to the House Armed Services Committee in the spring of 1956 in support of H.R. 7290, which would allow the appointment of female medical specialists to the National Guard.

In July 1956, Congress passed Public Law 845, authorizing female officers in the Guard. New York Air Guard Capt. Norma Parsons became the Guard's first female member. The Army Guard's first woman soldier was 1st Lt. Sylvia Marie St. Charles Law in January 1957.

By the end of 1957, the Air Guard had 42 female nurses, and the Army Guard had 11.

This Week in Guard History
March 26, 1952: South Korea - Guardsmen in various units (the 40th and 45th infantry divisions and artillery, engineer, maintenance and other mobilized Army Guard units) receive word that they will soon be going home.

The first increments mobilized for the war in August and September 1950, and the existing authority allowed them to be on active duty for only 21 months. Though later increased to 24 months, this increase did not apply to the first men called up.

While the units remained in place filled with draftees, Guardsmen began returning home. When they got back, however, those wishing to stay in the Guard had no unit to rejoin, as they were still in Korea.

The Guard and Army came up with a novel approach and created "holding" units with the same designations as those still deployed.

Produced weekly by the NGAUS communications department. Comments and questions should be directed to NGAUS. NGAUS members can sign up for electronic delivery of NGAUS Notes at NGAUS.


Adm. Fallon interviewed by ABC's Raddatz--Exclusive

Reopened Iraqi Factories Take Aim at Insurgency

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2007 – With straight unemployment running at 20 percent nationwide, there is no wonder that Iraqi men would be sympathetic to violence and insurgency, the Defense Department’s point man for Iraqi reconstruction said today.

Paul Brinkley, deputy defense undersecretary for business transformation, acquisition, technology and logistics, said Iraqis want work, normalcy and security. He is working with the Iraqi government and coalition officials to open factories and create jobs for those unemployed and those underemployed, said during a Pentagon news conference today.

Getting Iraqis back to work, he said, takes groups of people out of the recruiting pool of al Qaeda in Iraq and insurgent factions.

“It is the belief of our command … that this economic factor goes hand in hand with security, and as security is established, it is critical to follow and to restore economic opportunity for the population,” Brinkley said.

The coalition already has helped open three factories in Iraq, and officials plan on opening dozens more in the future. Brinkley said that in 2003, 200 large factories were doing business in the country. For a variety of factors – including security, lack of raw materials, lack of transportation and lack of electricity -- these factories have closed.

DoD has undertaken a comprehensive effort to engage industrial operations -- some idle, some state-owned, some private sector -- across Iraq in an effort to identify potential sources of goods and services, he said. This survey will allow Iraqi factories to reopen and connect Iraq with the rest of the Middle Eastern and international marketplace.

Most of the 200 large factories were state-owned, he said. Restoring these factories will spur growth in other related areas, Brinkley said. Secondary benefits will accrue to the economy not just for large factories, but also for all of the surrounding private businesses.

“This will begin to create an uplift of economic opportunity for the Iraqi people,” he said. And that uplift will take potential recruits out of terrorist or insurgent recruiting pools, he added.

A reopened Iraqi clothing factory is making uniforms for the Iraqi army and Iraqi police. It also is producing goods for export, and Brinkley said some of these clothes should be on shelves in the United States in time for Christmas. “We have major American retail distributors who have engaged in that operation,” he said.

Another reopened factory near Baghdad manufactured buses. It now makes armored vehicles for the Iraqi security forces.

Another reopened factory in Ramadi illustrates a different problem. The factory made bathroom fixtures and ceramic tile, but has no one to sell the goods to.

“It's hard to put U.S. government contracts for ceramic tile; we don't buy a lot of ceramic tile in the DoD,” he said. “These Iraqi factories used to sell to other Iraqis. Sunnis sold to Shiia; Sunni sold to Kurds; Shiia sold to Kurds; businessmen did business with each other. It's the same anywhere in the world.”

As the factories were idle, the commercial ties died, he said. “In this particular case, Kurdish construction firms have committed to buy anything that particular factory can make,” he said. “Why? Because they need these goods, and they're having to import them from outside the country today, and they can get them cheaper.”

Brinkley said this type of success breeds other successes and that he expects to see acceleration in factory opening and concurrent employment.

The Iraqis obviously want this to happen also, Brinkley said. He said that even in areas of the greatest unrest, idled factories have been untouched. “We've gone to factories where literally gunfire has been going off in the surrounding neighborhood, and one would expect the factory to have been looted,” he said. “Yet you go in and there's computer equipment, robotics, brand new production machinery sitting idle.

“The doors are chained and dust has settled over everything and the workers aren't working, and yet the factory hasn't been damaged, which is indicative of the fact that there is a level of control and a level of awareness even in areas of great unrest that future economic prosperity is critical to the population.”

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Long-Term Iraqi Stability Requires Rule of Law, Officials Say

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service.

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2007 – Security progress in Baghdad requires more than military success; it also requires advances in Iraq’s institutions, including its criminal justice system, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman said today.

“We can and will win every battle, but we cannot win the peace alone,” Navy Adm. Mark Fox said during a media roundtable in Baghdad. “Even-handed justice is an essential part of every democratic society.”

After decades under Saddam Hussein’s repressive regime, “the Iraqi government is creating an independent judicial system to ensure that the rule of law applies to everyone,” he said.

James Santelle, Justice attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, joined Fox in sharing perceptions after a visit yesterday to the Central Criminal Court of Iraq and speaking about steps under way to continue advances being made.

“Rule of law is a critically important part of the united Iraqi-coalition force effort to preserve the peace and to ensure the safety and security for all Iraqis,” Santelle said.

Rule of law requires confidence in the institutions of government, provincial and city governments, elected officials and police. That is a tall order, Santelle acknowledged, because Saddam’s brutal police force left widespread, lingering fear and distrust.

As they look toward the future, the Iraqi government and coalition are focusing on what Santelle called the three touchstones of a good rule of law operation: courts, prisons and police.

He said his visit to the Central Criminal Court gave him optimism that it’s possible to break beyond past wrongs.

“If there is any illustration of rule of law in operation here today in Iraq, it is just that,” he said, citing the CCCI’s operations and its combined staff of police, law enforcement agents and officers, judicial officers, and corrections officers. All are working together in Baghdad and other Iraqi providences to ensure rule of law is promoted, he said.

Santelle cited the facts that crimes are being investigated fairly and that courageous judges are hearing evidence of crimes as examples of positive strides.

“That is a reflection of a civilized society,” he said. “That is a reflection of a rule-of-law operation that does, in fact, work.”

Joint training programs are ensuring that the principles of rule of law go to all levels of the criminal justice system, and new courthouses and other facilities are being built or renovated to support this system, he said.

As these efforts take shape, Santelle said he’s been impressed by the many courageous Iraqi leaders -- judges, prison officials, police officers, non-governmental organizations and entities among them --pursuing rule-of-law principles while operating in the midst of violence.

“That is a sign of tremendous promise and future for this country … (that) speaks well, not only for the present generation, but also those to come,” he said.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

U.S. Army Soldiers Ward Off Attack by al Qaida

The release date by the US CENTCOM Press Release for this article is 3/27/2007. The release number is 07-01-03P.

FALLUJAH, Iraq - Soldiers from Regimental Combat Team 6 repelled a coordinated attack on a Coalition post, including two suicide truck bombs, approximately 4 km north of Karmah March 26[, 2007].

The attack started at about 2 p.m. when a Soldier from 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment (Airborne), attached to 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), engaged a water truck attempting to enter the compound without authorization, causing it to detonate.

Immediately following the explosion, approximately 30 terrorist fighters engaged the compound with small-arms fire, rocket propelled grenades and mortars.

The Soldiers returned fire with small arms, mortars and artillery from Regimental Combat Team 6.

Approximately five minutes into the attack, Soldiers engaged a dump truck following the same path as the previous suicide attacker, causing it to also detonate.

Initial estimates indicate as many as 15 terrorists were killed.

Eight U.S. Soldiers were wounded in the attack. One was evacuated to a nearby Coalition medical facility and the remaining seven were treated on site and returned to duty.

15 dead on their side. 8 injured on our side. Great job, guys. Get well soon.


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Attack in Tal Afar Condemned – Iraqis, CF stick Together

TAL’AFAR, Iraq - Late Tuesday afternoon, a large explosion ripped through a busy marketplace in the Al Moalameen neighborhood of Tal Afar causing extensive damage to buildings and homes, killing and wounding dozens.

“This was an act of cowardice and only demonstrates to the world how desperate this enemy is,” said Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, deputy commanding general of Task Force Lighting and Multinational Division North. “The Iraqi people must stand united against these forces so the country can continued on its path to a free and democratic state,” he continued.

Iraqi Security Forces responded immediately to the scene and began setting up triage and facilitating evacuation of wounded civilians caught in the blast area. Soldiers from the 3rd Iraqi Army Division immediately dispatched medical assets from their headquarters in Al Kisik to aid the wounded.

Immediately following the attack, Iraqi and Coalition Forces from Forward Operating Bases Marez and Sykes began working together to help the victims of this attack. 3rd Iraqi army provided ambulance support and heavy excavation equipment to remove rubble. CF responded to the scene providing security of the site, medical support to the victims and evacuation of the wounded via helicopters to CF and Iraqi medical facilities. Additionally, CF explosives experts were on the scene gathering evidence for the investigation into the attack and the hunt for the terrorist criminals.

Tal Afar officials have implemented a curfew in the city, restricting vehicle movements except for emergency transportation.

“The Iraqi police and army have come together with the Iraqi people in a true showing of solidarity against the terrorists in the aftermath of this horrific bombing,” said Maj. Rodger Lemons, executive officer of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. “Every Iraqi in the area has offered everything they have to help those injured here, regardless of affiliation or differences. No effort is being spared and Coalition Forces are assisting where needed.”

No CF Soldiers were injured during the attack.


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Monday, March 26, 2007

LEGISLATIVE ALERT #07-02: 3/26/2007


Immediate Action Required: Contact your members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor and support the National Guard Empowerment Act of 2007

Department of Defense (DOD) processes leading to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) were clear examples that National Guard leaders were not “at the table” during critical strategic planning and budgetary formulation.

Empowerment legislation was introduced in the 109th Congress during the FY07 budget cycle, but ultimately the issue was referred to the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves (CNGR) with a report back date of 1 March 2007. The results of the CNGR report clearly indicate that a problem does exist and that major changes are needed to ensure National Guard readiness.

Thanks to strong support in Congress, two key pieces of legislation have again been introduced in the 110th Congress; Senator “Kit” Bond (R-MO) reintroduced an expanded version of the original legislation to the 110th Congress; S. 430 – National Guard Empowerment Act of 2007 - designed to make the National Guard a stronger and more responsible defense agency, which will improve the nation’s defense and improve the military’s ability to support civilian authorities during domestic emergencies. Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) introduced an identical bill in the House; H.R.718.

Empowering National Guard leaders is the critical first step to ensuring readiness and quality-of-life for our personnel and their families.

S.430 currently has 32 co-sponsors:
Sen. Baucus, Max [MT], Sen. Brown, Sherrod [OH], Sen. Byrd, Robert C. [WV], Sen. Cantwell, Maria [WA], Sen. Coburn, Tom [OK], Sen. Collins, Susan M. [ME], Sen. Dodd, Christopher J. [CT], Sen. Durbin, Richard [IL], Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [CA], Sen. Grassley, Chuck [IA], Sen. Gregg, Judd [NH], Sen. Hagel, Chuck [NE], Sen. Harkin, Tom [IA], Sen. Johnson, Tim [SD], Sen. Kerry, John F. [MA], Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [MN], Sen. Landrieu, Mary L. [LA], Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. [VT], Sen. Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR], Sen. Lott, Trent [MS], Sen. Menendez, Robert [NJ], Sen. Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD], Sen. Murray, Patty [WA], Sen. Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE], Sen. Rockefeller, John D., IV [WV], Sen. Salazar, Ken [CO], Sen. Smith, Gordon H. [OR], Sen. Snowe, Olympia J. [ME], Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [MI], Sen. Sununu, John E. [NH], Sen. Tester, Jon [MT], Sen. Wyden, Ron [OR].

H.R.718 currently has 46 co-sponsors:
Rep Alexander, Rodney [LA-5], Rep Bishop, Rob [UT-1], Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1], Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU], Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5], Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1], Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7], Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14], Rep Cubin, Barbara [WY], Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4], Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10], Rep Dicks, Norman D. [WA-6], Rep Etheridge, Bob [NC-2], Rep Goode, Virgil H., Jr. [VA-5], Rep Graves, Sam [MO-6], Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17], Rep Hayes, Robin [NC-8], Rep Hurst, Stephanie [SD], Rep Hill, Baron P. [IN-9], Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17], Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12], Rep Hooley, Darlene [OR-5], Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9], Rep Kind, Ron [WI-3], Rep LaHood, Ray [IL-18] - 2/5/2007 - Rep Langevin, James R. [RI-2] - 3/8/2007, Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1], Rep Latham, Tom [IA-4], Rep LoBiondo, Frank A. [NJ-2], Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7], Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3], Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5], Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8], Rep Perlmutter, Ed [CO-7], Rep Rehberg, Dennis R. [MT], Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4], Rep Schwartz, Allyson Y. [PA-13], Rep Shays, Christopher [CT-4], Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1], Rep Souder, Mark E. [IN-3], Rep Taylor, Gene [MS-4], Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12], Rep Visclosky, Peter J. [IN-1], Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1], Rep Welch, Peter [VT], Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2].

If your members of Congress are on this list, take time to thank them for their support. If not, contact them using the “Write to Congress” feature found on our web site www.ngaus.org and urge them to become a co-sponsor. The future of the National Guard and possibly your unit depends on this important legislation being adopted.

By using the “Write to Congress” feature on the NGAUS Web site at NGAUS, you can IMMEDIATELY e-mail your elected representatives. A sample letter is included in our “Write to Congress” feature. You can e-mail the pre-written message or edit the sample letter as you desire. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to Congress. Also, contact your friends and family and urge them to "Write to Congress" as well. For more in-depth information and background visit our web site at www.ngaus.org. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Pete Duffy, NGAUS Deputy Legislative Director at 202-454-5307 or via email: Pete Duffy

One of the things I find is that my Senators do not bother with a lot of 3-party e-mails. To ensure your Senators and Congressperson receive your e-mails, copy/paste the prepared letter at NGAUS to your personal e-mail. This may be helpful at the end of day. Thank you, and have a great day.


Friday, March 23, 2007

NGAUS Legislative Update: 3/23/2007

What’s Happening In Congress?
CSAF Suggests Changes that Would Potentially Weaken the Air Guard

In a letter addressed to Chairman Arnold Punaro, Commission of the National Guard and Reserves, General Michael Moseley proposed changes that would “more closely align the Air National Guard and Army National Guard with their respective Military Departments, parallel to the Reserves’ alignment but with a differing mission set.” Moseley also proposed that the “Commission investigate options to give our Governors both an Air and Army Adjutant General, who would partner to create a true joint headquarters for the Governors”.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Co-chair Senate National Guard Caucus, confronted Moseley on these suggestions at a Defense Appropriations hearing on Wednesday. Leahy told Moseley “none of these proposals will go anywhere up here”. He pointed out that Moseley’s suggestions seemed to direct the Air Guard down a path that would reshape them into a mirror of the Air Force Reserve.

Senator Leahy and his co-chair on the Senate National Guard Caucus, Senator Kit Bond, sent a letter in response to General Moseley and Secretary Michael Wynne calling for them to reexamine the suggestions made to the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves.

Co-Sponsors on National Guard Empowerment Increasing
The list of co-sponsors for both the House bill (HR 718) and the Senate bill (S 430) have been increasing in recent weeks. Below is an updated list as of March 14th. In the House of Representatives:

Sponsors: Rep Tom Davis [VA-11], Rep Alexander, Rodney [LA-5] - 3/6/2007, Rep Bishop, Rob [UT-1] - 2/15/2007, Rep Bishop, Timothy H. [NY-1] - 2/27/2007, Rep Bordallo, Madeleine Z. [GU] - 2/15/2007, Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5] - 2/13/2007, Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1] - 1/30/2007, Rep Carson, Julia [IN-7] - 3/8/2007, Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] - 2/27/2007, Rep Cubin, Barbara [WY] - 3/6/2007, Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 2/5/2007, Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] - 2/5/2007, Rep Dicks, Norman D. [WA-6] - 2/5/2007, Rep Etheridge, Bob [NC-2] - 2/5/2007, Rep Goode, Virgil H., Jr. [VA-5] - 2/5/2007, Rep Graves, Sam [MO-6] - 3/8/2007, Rep Hare, Phil [IL-17] - 3/8/2007, Rep Hayes, Robin [NC-8] - 1/30/2007, Rep Herseth, Stephanie [SD] - 2/13/2007, Rep Hill, Baron P. [IN-9] - 3/14/2007, Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] - 2/5/2007, Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] - 2/13/2007, Rep Hooley, Darlene [OR-5] - 2/15/2007, Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9] - 2/5/2007, Rep Kind, Ron [WI-3] - 3/8/2007, Rep LaHood, Ray [IL-18] - 2/5/2007, Rep Langevin, James R. [RI-2] - 3/8/2007, Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] - 2/13/2007, Rep Latham, Tom [IA-4] - 2/13/2007, Rep LoBiondo, Frank A. [NJ-2] - 2/5/2007, Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] - 2/5/2007, Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 2/5/2007, Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5] - 2/15/2007, Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8] - 2/5/2007, Rep Perlmutter, Ed [CO-7] - 3/8/2007, Rep Rehberg, Dennis R. [MT] - 2/13/2007, Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4] - 2/13/2007, Rep Schwartz, Allyson Y. [PA-13] - 2/13/2007, Rep Shays, Christopher [CT-4] - 2/13/2007, Rep Shea-Porter, Carol [NH-1] - 3/8/2007, Rep Souder, Mark E. [IN-3] - 3/14/2007, Rep Taylor, Gene [MS-4] - 1/30/2007, Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12] - 2/27/2007, Rep Visclosky, Peter J. [IN-1] - 3/8/2007, Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] - 2/5/2007, Rep Welch, Peter [VT] - 2/5/2007, Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] - 3/6/2007

In the Senate:

Sponsors: Sen Christopher Bond [MO], Sen Baucus, Max [MT] - 1/31/2007, Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] - 2/6/2007, Sen Byrd, Robert C. [WV] - 2/12/2007, Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] - 2/1/2007, Sen Coburn, Tom [OK] - 3/5/2007, Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] - 2/13/2007, Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] - 3/5/2007, Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 2/6/2007, Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] - 3/8/2007, Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] - 1/31/2007, Sen Gregg, Judd [NH] - 2/8/2007, Sen Hagel, Chuck [NE] - 2/8/2007, Sen Harkin, Tom [IA] - 2/6/2007, Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] - 3/7/2007, Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 1/31/2007, Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] - 3/5/2007, Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] - 2/6/2007, Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] - 1/30/2007, Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] - 2/15/2007, Sen Lott, Trent [MS] - 3/8/2007, Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] - 3/5/2007, Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] - 1/31/2007, Sen Murray, Patty [WA] - 2/12/2007, Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [NE] - 1/30/2007, Sen Rockefeller, John D., IV [WV] - 1/31/2007, Sen Salazar, Ken [CO] - 2/1/2007, Sen Smith, Gordon H. [OR] - 2/6/2007, Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 1/30/2007, Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] - 3/9/2007, Sen Sununu, John E. [NH] - 2/12/2007, Sen Tester, Jon [MT] - 3/5/2007, Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] - 1/31/2007.

What’s Happening At NGAUS?
State Association Events in D.C.

This week NGAUS hosted the Wisconsin National Guard Association and the North Dakota State Association at the Memorial Building in Washington, D.C. North Dakota’s evening reception was attended by CSAF General Moseley, Congressman Earl Pomeroy, and a number of other general officers.

NGAUS Air Task Forces Looking at Reorganizing in the Near Future
The NGAUS air task forces will be meeting in April to discuss possible reorganization of the current three task forces: Fighter Task Force, Airlift/Tanker/Rescue Task Force, and the C3I Task Force. The Task Forces serve as subject matter experts on their specific areas. All task force participation is by volunteer only and is highly encouraged and recommended to help push priorities into the spotlight.

NGAUS Submits 5 Areas for the TRICARE Standard 2008 Survey
Each year the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) along with the TRICARE Management Activity conduct a survey on the “Civilian Physician Acceptance of New Patients Under TRICARE Standard”. The TRICARE Survey Program was formally established in response to the National Defense Authorization Act Public Law. No. 102-484, (1992). With the new TRICARE benefits for the National Guard beginning in October, the availability to find a provider is an important issue in rural areas around the country. This year, NGAUS has requested that these following areas be included in the survey locations:

Fort Dodge (and surrounding area), Iowa Ainsworth (and surrounding area), Nebraska Buffalo and Thermopolis, Wyoming Mitchell and Madris, Oregon Park Rapids and Atkin, Minnesota

Published by the NGAUS Legislative Staff:
Rich Green, Director
Pete Duffy, Deputy Director
Chris DeBatt, Army Programs
Emily Breitbach, Air Programs
Bernie Phelps, Senior Legislative Analyst


NGAUS Notes: 3/23/2007

Governors Urge Congress to Reset Guard Units
The nation's governors sent a letter to lawmakers Monday urging them to add perhaps billions of dollars to the fiscal 2008 defense budget to replace National Guard equipment damaged or left behind in Iraq and Afghanistan. The letter, sent by the National Governors Association (NGA) to Reps. John Spratt, D-S.C., and Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Budget Committee chairman and ranking member, specified vehicles and other equipment the Guard desperately needs for missions at home.

"Unless this equipment is replaced in a timely fashion, the ability of our Guard units to train for future military actions or respond to citizens' needs in an emergency is greatly diminished," the letter states. It was signed by Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, NGA chairwoman, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the association's vice chair.

Governors also urged Congress to work closely with the National Guard Bureau to identify the greatest need. In January, Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, NGB chief, told the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves that the Army and Air Guard is short nearly $40 billion worth of equipment. He also noted that 88 percent of nondeployed Army Guard units have less than half the necessary equipment for domestic crisis response.

For the first time in 35 years, General Blum added, less than 45 percent of Air Guard units have the equipment they need to deploy. The letter did not specify funding amounts, but it tells senior lawmakers that a need exists for "adequate budget authority to reequip Army and Air National Guard units returning from abroad."

"Early Bird" Membership Deadline Next Week
NGAUS membership dues from state associations must arrive in Washington, D.C., postmarked by March 31 to qualify for the 5 percent "Early Bird" rebate. The program returns 5 percent of a state's submitted dues to each state that meets the deadline. In order to receive the rebate, submissions must include name, rank and the home address of each member.

NGAUS also encourages inclusion of e-mail addresses, when available. The association, however, will limit e-mail contact to legislative news and alerts. According to Bonnie Carter, deputy director of NGAUS membership, dues poured into NGAUS this week because so many associations want to take advantage of the rebate.

In addition to the 5 percent discount for dues submitted by March 31, states that retain 100 percent of their membership qualify for an additional 5 percent rebate on the total amount of annual dues submitted. NGAUS must receive dues from all state associations by June 30 for priority delegate seating at this year's general conference scheduled for Aug. 24 to 27 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. But states that wish for a rebate must mail their dues by the end of next week.

States that improve membership percentages also can receive rebates on the total amount of dues submitted. They must, however, meet certain improvement criteria. Deadline for the improvement or retention rebate is Dec. 31. Last year, NGAUS officials provided nearly $100,000 to state associations nationwide as part of the two programs.

NGAUS membership dues should be mailed to: National Guard Association of the United States, Attn.: Director of Financial Operations, P.O. Box 90491, Washington, D.C. 20090.

Air Guard Retirement Process Now Internet Accessible
Eligible Air National Guardsmen can now submit retirement applications electronically via the virtual Personnel Center-Guard and Reserve (vPC-GR). It's the second Guard-specific capability added to the 24-hour customer service Web portal operated by the Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) in Denver.

"Our ultimate goal is to improve and streamline how we deliver services to our Total Force airmen," said Col. Ann Shippy, ARPC commander. "We're leveraging technology and Web applications to efficiently deliver service to our customers."

Previously, Guard airmen had to visit their local military personnel flight, complete the retirement application package, submit it to their supervisor or commander and send it to ARPC. This Web-enabled service is available at any time from anywhere in the world and will give airmen the ability to monitor the status of their application from start to finish.

Guard airmen can log on to the vPC-GR at vPC-GR to begin the process and see other Guard-specific options. All of the necessary forms are available. There is also "frequently asked questions" area specific to the Guard retirement process. When the application is submitted, the customer is e-mailed a tracking number. After the airman's commander has electronically endorsed the application, the Reserve Personnel Contact Center at ARPC will verify eligibility and finalize the application. Once approved, the vPC-GR will send e-mail notifications to the airman and his or her commander.

Legislative Staff Seeks Analyst
NGAUS is seeking a legislative analyst to work at association headquarters in Washington. The ideal candidate will have a bachelor's degree, be familiar with the congressional process and the military and be able to analyze Guard-related issues. The candidate must also possess strong computer skills and be familiar with Web content management software. This is an entry-level position with opportunities for advancement.

Interested candidates should submit a resume to retired Brig. Gen. Richard Green, NGAUS legislative director, via fax: 202-682-9358 or e-mail: Brig. Gen. Richard Green.

NGAUS History
On behalf of the Historical Society of the Militia and National Guard - today known as the National Guard Educational Foundation (NGEF) - Maj. Gen. Ansel M. Stroud Jr., NGAUS president, appointed Robert Wheeler of Vienna, Va., as curator of the model aircraft collection Dec. 1, 1987. Mr. Wheeler had been an active member of the International Plastic Modelers Society (IPMS).

At the same time, General Stroud expressed deep admiration to Bob Sauter, the man responsible for the unique collection. Mr. Sauter set out in 1966 to help NGAUS achieve its goal: a collection to depict every type of aircraft ever flown in a Guard unit.

The ambitious goal was within a few models of completion when Mr. Sauter resigned due to ill health. The collection, housed today in a glass display at The National Guard Memorial is a joint effort involving IPMS, the NGEF and NGAUS. It is open to the public weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This Week in Guard History
March 20, 1935:
Tacoma, Wash. - Elements of Washington's 161st Infantry and the 116th Observation Squadron, 41st Division serve on state active duty guarding railroad facilities, bridges and roads during a lumber-workers strike. These areas had been sabotaged or burned by the strikers.

Soldiers worked on a rotational basis so while 287 men served, only about 100 were on duty at any one time. This was necessary to help assure the men preserved their jobs. Many states had not yet enacted laws protecting Guard employment rights. If a man was gone too long he might return home to find his job terminated. Since World War II, however, all states have adopted some form of employment protection for Guardsmen serving in state declared emergencies.

Produced weekly by the NGAUS communications department. Comments and questions should be directed to NGAUS. NGAUS members can sign up for electronic delivery of NGAUS NOTES at NGAUS.org.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

NGAUS Legit: 3/16/2007

What’s Happening In Congress?
Supplemental Spending Bill Approved.

The House Appropriations Committee approved a draft supplemental spending bill on Thursday of nearly $124 billion dollars. The bill includes other Iraq War provisions as well. The panel voted to reverse the decision to close Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Another provision, which received strong opposition from Republicans, sets in motion a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by August of 2008.

Requested Military Readiness Studies.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton and Readiness Subcommittee Chairman Solomon Ortiz have requested a study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the impact of continued U.S. troop deployments and the current condition of military equipment on military readiness.

The letter to CBO asks for consideration to study: troop numbers needed for the current operations; options for addressing previously identified readiness issues and the budgetary effects of implementing those recommendations; and a determination of a time frame needed to completely address the recognized readiness shortfalls.

The letter to the GAO is more specific to concerns over pre-positioned military stocks that ensure the military has the materials and equipment needed for rapid deployment.

Upcoming Hearings for the CNGR.
The House Armed Services Full Committee will hold a hearing next Friday, March 23rd, on the second report to Congress by the Commission of the National Guard and Reserves. The hearing is scheduled for 10:00 am in 2118 Rayburn House Office Building.

What’s Happening At NGAUS?
Industrial College of the Armed Forces Visits the NGAUS Building

On Wednesday, March 14, a class of Military officers enrolled in a course called “The Reserve Component in the 21st Century” through the National Defense University visited the NGAUS Memorial Building. They received a tour of the National Guard Educational Foundation Museum and received a briefing from the Legislative Staff. The group of 15 students was lead by Colonel Christina Lafferty USAFR, the USAF Reserve Component Advisor to the President of the National Defense University.

MINDS Luncheons:
The Minuteman Institute for National Defense Studies (MINDS) in Association with the National Guard Association of the United States will be holding a luncheon and panel discussion Monday, March 19th on “The National Guard Empowerment Act”. Confirmed panelists include:

Honorable John Truesdale, Deputy Secretary of the Air Force M&RA Mackenzie Eaglen, Distinguished author/scholar, Heritage FoundationPaul Ebehardt, National Guard and Reserve Commission

Other invited panelists include:Honorable Tim Kaine, Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia Major General Roger Lempke, President AGAUS and TAG NE

This event will be held in the Hall of States in the NGAUS Memorial Building. Registration and lunch will begin at 11:30 am followed by the panel at 12:00pm.

What Can You Do?
Update on “Write To Congress” Stats.

Current numbers for messages sent this year are:
46 messages were sent this week.
2699 messages have been sent this year.
519 messages were sent on Guard Empowerment.
519 messages were sent on Guard Empowerment.
2047 messages were sent on TRICARE Fee Increases.

Top 5 States:
1. Tennessee – 266 messages
2. Missouri- 153 messages
3. Mississippi- 139 messages
4. California- 133 messages
5. Oklahoma- 119 messages

*following closely at number 6 is Iowa with 114 messages sent since Jan. 1st.Our Goal for 2007: 54,000 messages

We are 51,301 messages away from meeting our goal! Keep writing your Senators and Representatives. Also, make sure to share the “Write to Congress” tool with your friends and family.

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

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


Friday, March 16, 2007

NGAUS Notes: 3/16/2007

Walter Reed Board Gets Mixed Views at Hearing.
Injured soldiers and their families painted widely contrasting pictures Tuesday at the first hearing of a Pentagon review board investigating conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Some of those testifying described continued bureaucratic missteps and problems with patient treatment more than three weeks after media reports questioned the care of outpatients and some living conditions at the facility.

Two Army National Guard soldiers detailed problems in the medical and physical board process. Doctors categorized their injuries as pre-existing, even though the two had been cleared for duty and had no prior record of the injuries, they said.

The wife of an Army Guard lieutenant colonel complained about transportation and housing problems.

She said no one from the hospital met her husband when he arrived at the airport in Washington, D.C., last year. Her children had to drive from West Virginia to pick him up.

He was then forced to stay in a local motel for weeks because there was no room at the center, and he still has not been reimbursed. Near tears, she said she is tired of fighting the system.

But others had nothing but praise for Walter Reed. A woman caring for her injured Army Guard stepson even said she is bothered by what others are surmising from recent media reports.

"I get phone calls and letters from family and friends daily who think that my son is living in squalid conditions here. He's not," she said.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates assembled the review board two weeks ago. It's scheduled to report its findings April 16.

Air Force Expands Distance Learning Opportunities.
This month, the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, began offering its first distance learning graduate degree program.

With this pilot program in systems engineering, it is now possible for military members, Defense Department civilians and government contractors across the country to earn a master's degree from AFIT without moving to Ohio or leaving their current assignments.

"What makes our program so unique is that it is geared toward the DoD employee," said David Jacques, the curriculum chair for the engineering program. "Our faculty uses its extensive military background to create a defense-centered educational experience."

The program encourages students to address workplace systems problems, added George Mooney, director of AFIT's Center for Systems engineering. "That way, students can make strides toward obtaining their master's degree while helping the Air Force," he said.

AFIT also opened the graduate school's brand-new distance learning studio suite. After an interior construction and renovation project, the school installed new equipment in the studio suite to facilitate an expanding distance learning outreach.

"Our goal was to create a flexible toolbox that faculty members could use to create streamable content, as well as interact in real-time with the distance learning student," said John Reisner, director of AFIT's Office of Extension Services.

Previously, the school relied on video-teleconferences to deliver educational content to the remote student.

Prospective students interested in learning more about DL programs offered by AFIT's Graduate School of Engineering and Management can visit AFIT's Office of Extension Services' Web site at AFIT.edu.

Army Surgeon General Is Latest Walter Reed Casualty.
Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, the Army surgeon general under fire for shortcomings in outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, submitted his request to retire from the Army Sunday.

Maj. Gen. Gale S. Pollock, current deputy surgeon general, immediately assumed the surgeon general's duties.

After stories in The Washington Post showed extensive problems with outpatient facilities at the medical center housing troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey resigned March 2, and Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, Walter Reed's commander was relieved March 1.

An advisory board to recommend surgeon general candidates will convene in April.

"We must move quickly to fill this position; this leader will have a key role in moving the way forward in meeting the needs of our wounded warriors," said acting Army Secretary Pete Geren. "We have an Army action plan under way under the leadership of the vice chief of staff, Army General [Richard] Cody, and the surgeon general has a critical role in the execution of that plan."

General Kiley, who had been Army surgeon general and commander of U.S. Army Medical Command since Sept. 30, 2004, said his retirement was in the best interest of the Army.

General Pollock became deputy surgeon general in October 2006 and is a registered nurse anesthetist. She received her master of business administration degree from Boston University, a master's in health care administration from Baylor University and a master's in national security and strategy from the National Defense University.

Legislative Staff Seeks Analyst.
NGAUS is seeking a legislative analyst to work at association headquarters in Washington.

The ideal candidate will: have a bachelor's degree; be familiar with the congressional process and the military; and be able to analyze Guard-related issues. The candidate must also possess strong computer skills and be familiar with Web content management software.

The association offers a competitive salary and benefits. Interested candidates should submit a resume to retired Brig. Gen. Richard Green, NGAUS legislative director, via fax: 202-682-9358 or e-mail: Ret. Brig. Gen. Richard Green.

NGAUS History.
NGAUS hosted a special Lincoln-Grant exhibit, courtesy of the Illinois National Guard, in February 1981. The opening Feb. 3 included a reception for the Illinois National Guard, Illinois congressional delegation and members of the National Guard Bureau.

Maj. Gen. John R. Phipps, Illinois adjutant general, proposed the idea to emphasize the service of Presidents Lincoln and Grant in the Illinois state militia.

Original Lincoln and Grant uniforms were on display at The National Guard Memorial for several weeks. From there, the artifacts returned to Illinois to be used as part of a mobile exhibit to assist with recruiting.

Capt. Lincoln served with the 4th Regiment of the Illinois Mounted Volunteers. He saw action in the Black Hawk War of 1832. Col. Grant was appointed by Gov. Richard Yates to recruit and train the 21st Infantry Regiment in June 1861. Lincoln appointed Grant lieutenant general of the Army in 1864.

This Week in Guard History.
Mar. 15, 1781: Guilford Courthouse, N.C.--An American army under General Nathaniel Greene battles Lord Cornwallis, commander of the British army moving out of South Carolina. General Greene, originally a member of the Rhode Island militia, was one of General Washington's field commanders.

This battle saw some of the most desperate fighting of the war, with American troops charging into British ranks to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Cornwallis ordered his artillery to fire into the intermixed ranks, killing of a number of his own men. General Green withdrew his army in good order leaving Cornwallis with heavy causalities, to march to Wilmington, N.C., for transport by ship north to Virginia.

This delay probably cost Britain the war, as the Americans had time to shift forces into Virginia to oppose him. His army's surrender at Yorktown seven months later was a direct result of General Greene's actions during this battle.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bill S. 641: No cutting of funding for the troops

This is a copy of what I retrieved from the Thomas guide. I copied it because everytime I've tried to link to it in the past, it did not work. Grr. The words I used were: no cutting off funding for the troops. If you would like to do the same search. Also, you will get 0 for exact match, etc. Go to the last one that has 1000 bills containing one or more of your search words.

Well, how did the vote go in the Senate? 82 Senators approved it! A lot of talk for all those blowhards. Wouldn't ya say? lol. BTW, why isn't anyone touting this bill? Are the Republicans really this stupid? Oh, nevermind. For a minute there I lost my mind and thought they found their spine. I'll try not to do that in the future. Ho hum. Here is the whole copy:

Update: I was listening to the radio when I received this information. Apparently this bill has been tabled to be put on the calendar at a later date. I don't know where Mark Levin got the 82 votes from...maybe another vote? (My fault. Sorry.) Rep Mike Pence also has a bill that has gone to the Congressional House Committee on Armed Services. The number is H.CON.RES.64.

GPO's PDF Display. Congressional Record References. Bill Summary & Status. Printer Friendly Display - 3,532 bytes. [Help].

To express the sense of Congress that no funds should be cut off or reduced for American troops in the field which would result in undermining their safety or their ability to complete... (Placed on Calendar in Senate)

S 641 PCS

Calendar No . 45


1st Session

S. 641

To express the sense of Congress that no funds should be cut off or reduced for American troops in the field which would result in undermining their safety or their ability to complete their assigned missions.


February 15, 2007

Mr. MCCONNELL (for Mr. GREGG) (for himself, Mr. CRAIG, Mr. ALLARD, Mr. COBURN, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. SHELBY, Mr. CORNYN, Mr. STEVENS, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. MCCAIN, Mr. MCCONNELL, Mr. MARTINEZ, Mr. KYL, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. ISAKSON, and Mr. DEMINT) introduced the following bill; which was read the first time.

February 16, 2007

Read the second time and placed on the calendar.


To express the sense of Congress that no funds should be cut off or reduced for American troops in the field which would result in undermining their safety or their ability to complete their assigned missions.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

(a) FINDINGS- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Under article II, section 2, of the Constitution of the United States, the President is the `commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States', and in such capacity the President has the command of the Armed Forces, including the authority to deploy troops and direct military campaigns during wartime.

(2) Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution of the United States, Congress has the power of the purse specifically as it relates to the Armed Forces, and in such capacity Congress has the responsibility to fully and adequately provide funding for United States military forces, especially when they are at war and are defending the Nation.

(3) When United States military forces are in harm's way and are protecting our country, Congress and the Nation should give them all the support they need in order to maintain their safety and accomplish their assigned missions, including the equipment, logistics, and funding necessary to ensure their safety and effectiveness, and such support is the responsibility of both the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch of Government.
(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS- It is the sense of Congress that Congress should not take any action that will endanger United States military forces in the field, including the elimination or reduction of funds for troops in the field, as such action with respect to funding would undermine their safety or harm their effectiveness in pursuing their assigned missions.

Calendar No . 45


1st Session

S. 641


To express the sense of Congress that no funds should be cut off or reduced for American troops in the field which would result in undermining their safety or their ability to complete their assigned missions.

February 16, 2007

Read the second time and placed on the calendar

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Army Sergeant saves two ANP with quick response


“We talk a lot in this culture about heroes and for some reason we think professional athletes are heroes, rock stars are heroes, and movie stars are heroes. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a hero.” That is how one lieutenant described Sgt. Taylor, because Taylor’s modesty would surely prevent him from ever describing himself as a “hero.”

On Feb. 22, 2006, Taylor and his intelligence team headed out to search for roadside bombs in a volatile region of Afghanistan. They had received word that a bomb had exploded in the area the night before, so his team – a combination of Afghan national police officers, Army intelligence personnel, and U.S. military police – planned to gather any information and evidence about the explosion. By studying the bomb’s components, they might be able to determine who manufactured it – and how to protect against similar devices in the future.

They climbed to the top of a ridge to scout the valley below, where the bomb was supposed to be. There were no civilians in sight, which instantly put Taylor on alert. The wooden box supposedly holding the shards of the bomb drew the team’s attention. Yet, instead of pieces of an exploded bomb, the box held a receiver for an anti-tank landmine – and a large rocket. Having hardly any time to think, Taylor grabbed the two Afghan police officers near him and jumped on top of them in a ditch, just as the weapon exploded. The flying shrapnel found its mark with Taylor – but his body armor protected him from serious injury. The Afghans had been wearing only flannel shirts, and so were saved by Taylor’s split-second decision. For his actions, he was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” on Jan. 6, 2007.

Photo: Army Reserve Sgt. Ryan Taylor.

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“Palestine is Our Concern and the Concern of Every Muslim” – An Audio Speech by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri Presented by as-Sahab

By SITE Institute

The voice of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two individual in al-Qaeda, is featured in a twenty-one minute speech titled: “Palestine is Our Concern and the Concern of Every Muslim”, which was issued by al-Qaeda’s multimedia production arm, as-Sahab, today, Sunday, March 11, 2007. The speech is presented in a video format with a static image of Zawahiri in a right panel, and al-Aqsa Mosque in the left; English subtitles are also provided. Zawahiri references recent current events, such as the Taliban suicide bombing targeting U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan on February 27, giving him a “fine welcome”, indicating the audio recording to have been made recently.

Focus is placed upon the Hamas government and its alleged neglect of Palestinian Muslims in particular and Islam in general as they have acquiesced to international diplomacy, giving “respect” to past peace accords with Israel. Zawahiri believes that Hamas has “sunk in the swamp of surrender”, and has committed an act similar to deceased Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s reorganization of Israel to only maintain power in a “farcical” government authority. As Hamas has apparently abandoned its militant position, accepting bargaining over “martyrdom operation”, Zawahiri calls upon Muslims to reject politics and engage in jihad against the enemy. He states: “they must continue their Jihad in Allah’s path until the liberation of every land of Islam invaded by the infidels, from Spain to Iraq, and until the Word of Allah is supreme and the Caliphate returns to protect the sanctuary of Islam and spread its Shari’ah.”

Zawahiri argues within this appeal for physical jihad that American strength is waning and is suffering from defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as such, “backtracking” in the jihadi project, such as he perceived Hamas to espouse, in impermissible. Confirming an American struggle in the fields of battle, Zawahiri also references the Baghdad security conference which may speed their withdrawal from Iraq. However, he reminds that to negotiate with the Iraqi government and Arab leaders is fruitless, for they are not the “real powers” in the Islamic world. Continuing to build a case against Western moral bankruptcy in its relationship with Muslims, Zawahiri cites hypocrisy in trials involving the International Criminal Court, particularly as it relates to genocide in Bosnia and war crimes in Darfur. He questions: “Who gave these murders the right to appoint judges to interfere in the affairs of Muslims? What right does the Security Council have to interfere in the affairs of Muslims, and set up the courts which acquit this one and condemn that one, when the hands of its criminal members drip with the blood of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Algeria, Chechnya and East Turkistan? How can America refer the case of Darfur to an international court which it itself doesn't recognize and refuses to be subject to? What sort of tyranny is this world ruled by?”

The video and transcript are provided to our Intel Service members.

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Navy’s First Riverine Squadron Deploys

13 March 2007
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice John K. Hamilton
Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic

-- Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 1, based at Naval Amphibious Base (NAB) Little Creek deployed March 8 after a year of intense training with Marine forces.

The deployment marks the first for a riverine squadron since the Vietnam War.

More than 100 riverine Sailors deployed to the Middle East to integrate with Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) to conduct maritime security operations (MSO) along rivers and other inland waterways: denying the use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack; a haven for insurgent activities; or the illegal transportation of weapons, people or material in Iraq.

“The combat skills training at Camp Lejune (N.C.) with the Marine Corps and firefight introductions training took us from ‘blue water Sailors’ -- open water Navy -- to become an expeditionary force,” said Cmdr. William Guarini, commanding officer of RIVRON 1.

“Our goal is to help the Marines and other units we’ll be working with to facilitate stability in the area,” said, Lt.j.g. Joshua Sprubeck, team officer for RIVRON 1.

Full of the mixed emotions that come with a deployment, members of the squadron feel they are ready to get underway.

“I’m kind of excited and kind of scared, but I’m ready to get over there and do my job,” said Intelligence Specialist 1st Class (SS) Michael Cherry.

Sprubeck echoed Cherry’s sentiments.

“We're feeling a little bit of excitement, a little bit of fear of the unknown but we're chomping at the bit to go. All the guys are ready to roll,” said Sprubeck.

RIVRON 1 received specialized training in a number of areas including cultural and language skills presented in realistic combat scenarios, and small unit riverine craft training -- all to help prepare them for the challenges they may face in the field.

“The training that we’ve received has been awesome,” said Chief Quartermaster (SW) Mike Gaspar, command career counselor for RIVRON 1. “There were a lot of young men that came here new to this kind of thing. They came here with open minds and did really well with the training that prepared us well for the mission."

Three riverine squadrons under one riverine group commander serve as a ready force for the Joint Force Maritime Component commander. Each squadron consists of specially designed craft configured to operate in a hostile environment. Water craft will have multiple crews for near continuous operations and lift capacity for a small tactical unit.

“These Sailors are ready to go,” said Guarini. “They are motivated to be here, they are excited, and they give me energy just seeing their enthusiasm.”

The Navy’s riverine force is part of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), a global force provider of adaptive force packages of expeditionary capabilities to joint warfighting commanders. NECC serves as a single functional command to centrally manage the current and future readiness, resources, manning, training, and equipping of the Navy Expeditionary Force.

Photo: Sailors assigned to Riverine Squadron One (RIVRON-1) participate in a combat evolution, during a unit level training exercise. RIVRON-1 is part of the newly formed Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC). NECC integrates all warfighting requirements for expeditionary combat and combat support elements. This transformation allows for standardized training, manning and equipping of Sailors who will participate in the global war on terrorism as part of the joint force. It also results in more capable, responsive and effective expeditionary Sailors. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Mandy McLaurin (RELEASED).

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45th Medical Company: Working With Corps’ to Save Lives

13 March 2007
By Sgt. Anthony Guas
Marine Aircraft Group 29

— Marines know that in a combat zone corpsmen can save their lives, but in Iraq the Navy is not the only branch saving Marines. Soldiers are also putting themselves in harms way to help others.

The soldiers of the 45th Medical Company, a joint asset to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, provide aerial medical evacuation and transportation of medical personnel, blood and equipment.

“We’re an Army Aero-Medical unit fully integrated into the Marine Air Ground Task Force,” said Army Maj. Robert A. Kneeland, the 45th Medical Company commanding officer. “Because of the innovative efforts of Marine aviation here in Iraq, it has really evolved beyond simply joint operations. Army (Medical Evacuation) has become inter-operable and to some degree even inter-dependent with Marine aviation in (Multi-National Forces-West).”

The 45th Medical Company is the fifth medical evacuation company since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom to be deployed in support of the Marine Expeditionary Force, according to Kneeland.

“The Marines treat us just like one of their own squadrons, support us to the fullest extent possible, and synchronize our operations with the other aviation supporting MNF-W,” said Kneeland. “The relationship has steadily built over time. It is a great and unique relationship and we feel truly blessed to be part of the team.”

The Germany-based company, known as “Bavarian DustOff”, is split into three main platoons; the headquarters platoon, flight platoon and the maintenance platoon.

The headquarters handles the operations of the company and the aircraft refueling.

“Flight operations controls everything from the flight logs to the missions and is manned 24-7,” said Army 1st Sgt. John Waldbaum, the 45th Medical Company first sergeant. “Our fuel section is also manned 24-7.”

The members of the flight platoon are broken into crews containing two pilots, a crew chief and flight medic. Three crews are on duty for 72 hours; the first crew is on call, the second is used for transfer between hospitals and the third acts as a back-up. The crews rotate after each day and are relieved by another shift of three crews after the 72 hours.

“In this unit, everything is built around the flight medic, in a sense, he’s like the aircraft’s primary weapons system” said Waldbaum. “The crew chief owns the airplane; the medic owns the mission and specially-trained pilots are charged to get that medic as quickly and safely as possible to the point of injury to save lives.”

In the Army, the medical field is huge, but being a flight medic is a specialty that only a few get to experience, according to Army Sgt. Michael M. Dreiling, a flight medic for the 45th Medical Company.

“Some of us work in the hospitals or a clinic, and then there are very few select of us who fly around in the helicopter,” explained Dreiling. “It is an unbelievably rewarding job. When I was stationed at Al Qaim, it was the first time that I had a leader of any sort shake my hand for the work I have done for a (service member).”

Although a flight medic’s primary mission is the responsibility of the patient, they must also be an extra pair of eyes on the aircraft.

“Flying to and from (a mission), we are right at the window, so we are responsible from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock to view other aircraft, obstacles, enemy fire below and everything. We are not just medics, we are the eyes too. There are eight eyes on the aircraft and we have two of them.”

The other set of eyes are the ones that ensure everything is mechanically stable on the helicopter. Any maintenance issue on the helicopter is the sole responsibility of the crew chief, according to Army Sgt. Matthew Grove, a UH-60 Blackhawk crew chief with the 45th Medical Company.

“A Blackhawk crew chief maintains the bird and ensures the inspections are good and takes care of any unscheduled maintenance,” said Grove. “If something breaks while in flight, we have to make sure it gets reported.”

While in flight, the crew chief is the expert on the helicopter’s capabilities.

“I think (flying with the helicopter) is critical because (the crew chief) has the hands-on experience,” said Grove. “There are a lot of times where the pilot will ask questions, so you are the go-to-guy for the status of the bird. They know the aircraft, but each bird’s strengths and weaknesses, that’s where the crew chief comes in. They have to trust you, that is why you have to stay on top of your game.”

Just like the medic is an extra pair of eyes in a flight, the crew chief becomes a helping hand to the medic.

“When we get casualties, we are an extra set of hands, helping the medic,” said Grove. “He is like the doctor and we are the nurses. We do as much as we can because that’s our money right there, if we don’t save those guys, that’s unacceptable.”

When the crew receives a call for a medical evacuation, it only takes them 7 to 10 minutes to get in the air, according to Army Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Fay, a medical evacuation pilot for the 45th Medical Company.

“When we get the call, one of the pilots and the medic will go and get the (information),” said Fay. “The medic will ask any kind of questions he needs to know as far as litter and priority. The other pilot and the crew chief will get out and (prepare the helicopter). Then we start the aircraft, put the grid in the GPS and head right for it. We can be there and back in 30-40 minutes tops.”

Although the flight platoon is on the frontlines, the maintenance platoon is the group behind the scenes, ensuring that the helicopters are ready to fly.

“The maintenance platoon has 20-30 people available,” said Grove. “We always rely on those guys to help us.”

The company’s aviation unit maintenance platoon consists of Blackhawk helicopter repairmen, avionics technicians, structural mechanics, powerplant mechanics, technical supply personnel, and various other skill sets specializing on the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter.

The company currently has helicopters spread throughout the Al Anbar Province. Since October, the company has flown more than 700 supporting MNF-W combat operations.

“Success is hard to rate sometimes, but if you could I would give us an A plus,” said Dreiling. “We haven’t lost anybody or any aircraft and our mission reaction time is unbelievable. Every crew that I have been on (has taken off) under 10 minutes.”

Photo: U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Andy Druilhet, a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot, checks the tail rotor before taking off on a training flight, Feb. 28, 2007. The 45th Medical Company provides medical evacuation for all personnel in Iraq. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Anthony Guas.

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PRT turns best practice into Afghan community favorite

12 March 2007
By Capt. Joe Campbell
Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team

-- A best practice program developed by the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team has become a community favorite here. The program provides construction materials to Afghan locals to complete or repair their own projects.

Initially started as a way to encourage villagers to take a more active role in community development, the free bags of ready-to-mix cement plan has expanded to include gabions -- wire cages designed to hold rocks or other riprap material to form foundations or erosion control structures.

"Villagers pick up bags of cement from the PRT themselves, do the work themselves, then our engineers inspect the work to ensure the cement was used properly," said Army Reserve Capt. Nick Ashbaugh, Panjshir PRT Civil Affairs team leader.

The 49th and 50th do-it-yourself projects were undertaken recently after cement projects in the Khenj and Dara districts were approved.

Villagers from Safachi received 150 bags of cement to repair a mosque while Bari Ali citizens were given 100 bags of cement to fix a canal wall for their micro-hydro power plant.

"We always keep cement on hand to support these types of projects," said Captain Ashbaugh. "We've given out more than 6,500 bags of cement since May 2006."

Not all projects are approved. Each request meets a stringent review process by the requesting village's provincial council members and then the need is verified by PRT members before a project is supported.

"The success of the cement program led us to add gabions to our do-it-yourself efforts and we expect this addition to be met with enthusiasm throughout Panjshir," said Air Force Lt. Col. Neal Kringel, Panjshir PRT commander.

The program allows locals to accomplish projects benefiting their villages and it is a cost-effective way for the PRT to make a difference in more reconstruction projects while maximizing taxpayer dollars.

"Captain Ashbaugh has negotiated the delivered price of good-quality cement from our supplier to $5 per bag, so a 150-bag project costs a mere $750," said Colonel Kringel. "More importantly, it fosters partnership, sweat equity and fast-track."

Photo: Afghanistan villagers in the Khenj district watch as bags of ready-to-mix cement are unloaded in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan. The cement was used to repair a retaining wall that protects a mosque. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Chris White).

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Friday, March 09, 2007

NGAUS Legislative Update: 3/9/2007

What’s Happening In Congress?

HASC Hearing on Aircraft Programs.

On Wednesday the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces held a hearing on Air Force and Army airlift and aerial refueling fixed-wing aircraft programs. The hearing focused on parts of the Department of Defense’s recent mobility study and its conclusions. There were two panels of witnesses at this hearing.

The first panel included:
Mr. William Solis - Director, Defense Capabilites and Management Government Accountability Office

Mr. Michael Sullivan - Director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management, Government Accountability Office

Mr. Christopher Bolkcom - Specialist in National Defense Congressional Research Service
The second panel included:
Lieutenant General C.H. “Howie” Chandler - USAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements

Lieutenant General Donald J. Hoffman - USAF Military Deputy Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition

Lieutenant General Mark Curran - USA Deputy Commander, Training and Doctrine Command

Major General (Select) Jeffrey Sorenson - USA Deputy for Systems Management Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, & Technology)

Major General Thomas P. Kane - USAF Director of Strategic Plans, Requirements, and Programs Air Mobility Command
There were many programs and related issues discussed at this hearing, including the C-17, the C-5, the C-130, the KCX, the KC-135 tankers, and the Joint Cargo Aircraft. To read the prepared statements and hear their testimony, visit www.NGAUS.org and click on the JCA link on the home page.

What’s Happening At NGAUS?

CACO Conference Held at NGAUS.

“Outstanding!” “Excellent!” “Very valuable time spent.”
These were comments made by attendees at The Congressional Action Contact Officer (CACO) 10th Annual Legislative Conference hosted by NGAUS March 5-6. NGAUS thanks the attendees from nearly thirty states for their attentiveness and the varied roster of presenters that included guest panelists Janet Saint Laurent, Director of Defense Capabilities at the GAO; Mackenzie Eaglen, Senior Policy Analyst for Defense and Homeland Security Issues at the Heritage Foundation; and Megan Scully, Defense Reporter for the Congress Daily. It was crystal clear from the presenters that the 110th Congress presents a window of opportunity for advancing legislation favorable to the National Guard.

States Hold Exceptional Events in DC.
State Associations are making their presence felt in the Nations Capitol. Last week Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin spent time on the Hill and at the NGAUS building meeting their Congressional delegations and informing them of their state’s shortfalls and critical needs. This week 4 more states came in to include Pennsylvania, Kansas, Indiana, and Illinois.

Pennsylvania held an evening reception in the Hall of States, a breakfast in the Rayburn House Office Building and spent time visiting their Representatives and Senators offices. Congressman John Murtha, Chair of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, was in attendance at the breakfast and spoke to the Pennsylvania Guard members. Illinois sponsored an evening reception in the Hall of States as well. Senator Barack Obama, 2008 presidential candidate, and Senator Richard Durbin, Senate majority Whip and member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee attended this event.

Grass Roots Again.
This week at the CACO Seminar a presentation was given on using the “Write to Congress” feature on the NGAUS website. A few common questions came up along with some misunderstandings of how the feature works. We would like to clear these up.

Q: Does it really matter if one person or 200 people send a letter on the same issue?
A: Yes. An office tracks the amount of people concerned about an issue and determines the issues importance based on these numbers.

Q: Will the email come from NGAUS when I use the NGAUS website to send it?
A: No. It will generate the email from the address that you provide to the “Write to Congress” feature.

Q: Does it really matter if I send emails for each Legislative Alert when some are on the same issue?
A: Yes. Many Legislative Alerts are put out at a specific time in order to impact a vote, a committee mark-up, or an important hearing on the issue. The emails may be on the same issue but have different text and are at a different time. Some issues may have even changed a little since the last alert sent out.

Q: Does the Representative or Senator actually read my email?
A: Not until the office has received a significant amount of email on the same issue. One of the office staffers will however read the email and keep track of how many emails they get on that issue. After enough emails have been received they will bring the issue to the Representative or Senator’s attention. Then they will research the issue and brief their boss on the facts. This is when the Representative or Senator will decide what they want to do about the issue.

In the past year we have been using only .06% of our potential to tell Congress about our important issues in the National Guard. Last year, 18,290 messages were sent using the “Write to Congress” feature. NGAUS would like to set a goal of 54,000 messages for 2008. This is three times the amount sent last year. With the potential to send over 2.8 million messages this is only a small first step, but an important one.

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

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


NGAUS Notes: 3/9/2007

Board of Directors Meets in Washington This Week.
Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, chairman of the board, will convene the first board meeting of 2007 this weekend at The National Guard Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This weekend’s agenda will include discussions of the current legislative session and the March 1 report from the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves regarding Guard empowerment.

Membership marketing and plans for the 129th General Conference and Exhibition, Aug. 24 to 27 in San Juan, Puerto Rico will also dot the agenda.

And board members will receive an operational update from senior National Guard Bureau officers.

Events begin today with meetings of the company grade, general conference, membership, officer professional development and strategic planning committees.

The NGAUS-Insurance Trust and National Guard Educational Foundation boards also meet today.

Reports from the NGAUS Corporate Advisory Panel, National Guard Executive Directors Association, Adjutants General Association of the United States and Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States are also on the board meeting agenda.

The 29-member board is the association’s governing body. Its members serve staggered two- or three-year terms. They are elected by delegates to the NGAUS annual conference.

The meeting overlaps with the first ever NGAUS “Train the Trainer” workshop also being held Sunday and Monday at the memorial. Representatives from state and territory associations have registered to come and learn the latest membership recruiting and retention practices from the NGAUS membership

2007 NGAUS Individual Award Nominees Sought.
Guardsmen with a long record of outstanding military service, elected representatives who strongly support the Guard and Guardsmen who have performed a life-saving act are potential candidates for the 2007 NGAUS Individual Awards Program.

Nominees should have demonstrated superior performance, committed acts of heroism or have contributed significantly to Guard effectiveness.

The 11 separate individual awards include the new Company Grade Leadership Award that debuted in 2006.

NGAUS mailed complete awards program information last month to each state joint force headquarters and Guard association and the National Guard Bureau.

Award program basics are also available on the NGAUS Web site at NGAUS.

NGAUS must receive nominations by May 1. Most require an adjutant general endorsement. The only exceptions are nominations sent directly from the state Guard associations and NGB.

A five-person awards committee will review the nominees in June and make recommendations to the NGAUS board for final approval.

NGAUS will notify recipients in late July and present the awards during business sessions of the 129th NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition Aug. 24 to 27 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The association will reimburse individual award recipients for their $125 conference registration fee.

Those awards not presented in San Juan will be available for state association collection.

Nominations for unit awards presented at the conference’s Army and Air separate sessions must be submitted through the appropriate directorates at the National Guard Bureau and have different submission procedures and deadlines.

Mar. 9-11 NGAUS Board Meeting - The National Guard Memorial
Mar. 11-12 Train the Trainer Workshop - The National Guard Memorial
Mar. 21 North Dakota National Guard visit

IRS Offering Free Income Tax Help for Military Personnel.
The Internal Revenue service once again is providing free income tax preparation assistance at military tax centers worldwide. The IRS has provided the service for more than 25 years.

The program, overseen by the Armed Forces Tax Council, works to train military volunteers on installations so they can understand current laws and offer tax advice, preparation, return filing and other tax assistance, said Bill Cressman, an IRS spokesman.

IRS tax laws provide special benefits to active-duty service members, particularly those in combat zones. For federal tax purposes, “armed forces” includes officers and enlisted members in active-component and Guard and Reserve units.

According to the IRS Web site, three combat zones have been designated by executive order from the president in areas where armed forces are or have engaged in combat. This includes the air space above those areas. These are the Arabian Peninsula, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The Defense Department also has certified locations for combat zone tax benefits due to the direct support of military operations during operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. A listing of these locations can be found at IRS.gov by clicking on the “Armed Forces” tab.

Those who qualify for combat zone provisions can apply for military pay exclusions, deadline extensions and miscellaneous provisions by writing “combat zone” and their deployment date in red ink on the top of tax returns.

Qualifying taxpayers may directly notify the IRS of their exclusion status by e-mailing Combat Zone AT IRS.

Deadline extensions also apply to some civilian personnel and spouses who are stateside.

Legislative Staff Seeks Analyst.
NGAUS is seeking a legislative analyst to work at association headquarters in Washington.

The ideal candidate will: have a bachelor’s degree; be familiar with the congressional process and the military; and be able to analyze Guard-related issues. The candidate must also possess strong computer skills and be familiar with Web content management software.

The association offers a competitive salary and benefits. Interested candidates should submit a resume to retired Brig. Gen. Richard Green, NGAUS legislative director, via fax: 202-682-9358 or e-mail: Richard Green.

NGAUS History.
Officers representing reserve forces from 10 NATO countries got a first-hand look at U.S. reserve forces at The National Guard Memorial in March 1964.

Maj. Gen. James F. Cantwell, NGAUS president, welcomed Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark, a lieutenant colonel in the Greek Army Reserve, and the other officers at NGAUS headquarters.

Visitors and Brig. Gen. John L. Strauss, NGAUS executive assistant, discussed the association’s role in Guard affairs. Col. Robert C. Boden of the National Guard Bureau focused on the organization, missions and accomplishments of the Army and Air Guard.

The European and Canadian reservists received copies of THE NATIONAL GUARDSMAN and reproductions of the first four National Guard Heritage Series paintings. The reservists represented Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway.

This Week in Guard History.
Mar. 4, 2002: Takur Ghar, Afghanistan—Tech. Sgt. Keary Miller, a combat search and rescue team leader from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, earns a Silver Star for his actions in pulling wounded men out of the line of fire and providing first aid after their MH-47E helicopter crashed due to ground fire.

Later he stripped ammunition from the dead and injured—exposing himself to enemy fire—and resupplied those still able to fight.

Although seven soldiers lost their lives and 10 others were seriously wounded during this 17-hour engagement with Taliban fighters, probably several more would have died without Sergeant Miller’s heroic service.

Sergeant Miller received his Silver Star from Air Force Secretary James G. Roche Nov. 1, 2003.

Produced weekly by the NGAUS communications department. Comments and questions should be directed to NGAUS. NGAUS members can sign up for electronic delivery of NGAUS NOTES at NGAUS Notes