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Friday, March 30, 2007

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.

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