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Friday, June 15, 2007

NGAUS Notes: 6/15/2007

C-27J Spartan Tapped as New Joint Cargo Aircraft

The U. S. Army announced a $2.04 billion contract award Wednesday to L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, Boeing and Alenia North America for their C-27J Spartan to be the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA).

An initial purchase of 78 aircraft will replace aging air platforms. But officials said they imagine the total number of aircraft will reach, if not exceed, the originally planned purchase of 145 aircraft.

The Army will receive 54 and the Air Force will receive the other 24 aircraft in the initial purchase to replace the C-23 Sherpa and C-12 Huron.

With the bulk of older airframes in the Guard, officials said the Guard would relieve many new aircraft.

And they would be available for much more than wartime utilization, particularly for governors to use them for crucial airlift tasks in state operations, such as for a natural or manmade disaster.

“You’re always going to be short of airlift no matter where you go, and when we flew these [older] airplanes, we were sending airplanes forward that could have carried a lot more, but we were carrying what they needed now, and that was maybe one or two passengers, maybe one pallet of medical goods,” said Maj. Gen. Marshall K. Sabol, an Air Force spokesman.

“Where this airplane will fit extremely well is it’ll be able to do that kind of mission [with a] smaller cargo bay ... [and] relieve the C-130s to be able to do the missions they were not able to do,” he added.

The first two C-27Js will arrive late this year. After fiscal year 2008 funds come through, the next four aircraft should arrive around January 2009.

The first operational JCA unit will stand up in late 2010.

Gates Recommends Mullen as JCS Chairman

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will recommend that President Bush nominate Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chief of Naval operations, to replace outgoing Gen. Peter Pace as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In news conference last week, Mr. Gates said he also will recommend Gen. James E. Cartwright for the position of vice chairman. General Cartwright is the commander of U.S. Strategic Command. Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., the current vice chairman, announced his decision to retire two weeks ago.

“I have become well acquainted with Admiral Mullen over the last six months and believe he has the strategic insight, experience and integrity to lead America’s armed forces,” Mr. Gates said.

Admiral Mullen graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968.

He has served in leadership positions at the Naval Academy, the Navy’s Bureau of Personnel, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Navy Staff.

He became the 28th Chief of Naval Operations in July 2005.
Mr. Gates had intended to re-nominate General Pace and Admiral Giambastiani, but after consulting with senators of both parties came to the conclusions “that because General Pace has served as chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the last six years, the focus of his confirmation process would have been on the past rather than the future.”

General Pace will continue to serve as chairman until his term ends Sept. 30. He is the first Marine to hold the position.|

Calling Cards Bring Troops Overseas a Little Closer to Home

To help bridge the gap between the front lines and the home front, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) actively engages the American public every day troops are far from home.

Available to the public since April 2004, “Help Our Troops Call Home” allows anyone, even non-authorized exchange shoppers, to send military exchange global prepaid phone cards to deployed troops.

Since the program’s inception, individuals have purchased more than 206,000 phone cards.

“From the soldier with a young child back home to the airman who will spend his first Father’s Day away from dad, being able to reach out and speak to loved ones is critical,” said Lt. Col. Steven Dean, AAFES contingency planning chief. “During my deployment, being able to talk to my family was my first priority.”

Dads, aunts, neighbors and even civic groups can take part in the effort by sending any one of three military exchange global prepaid phone cards to troops.

Among them is a 550-minute denomination card capable of providing more than two hours of call time from any of 72 phone centers in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait to the United States.

The phone card may be sent to an individual service member designated by the sender or distributed to “any service member.” Facilitators of the program include the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society, Fisher House Foundation, Navy-Marine Corps Relief, Soldier and Family Assistance Center and United Service Organizations.

More information on the program is available at AAFES.

Commuication Department Needs Staff Writer

The National Guard Association has an immediate opening for an experienced staff writer. Selected candidate will contribute to NATIONAL GUARD, the association’s monthly magazine, NGAUS Notes and the NGAUS Web site.

Duties include writing short news stories and covering a variety of hearings on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. For the magazine, the successful candidate will contribute at least one substantial feature story each month and assist in editing and producing the final product. Some travel is required.

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

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

Send cover letter, résumé and three writing samples to:

National Guard Association of the United States
Communications Department
One Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, D.C., 20001.

Fax: 202-682-9358
E-mail: Chris Prawdzik.

NGAUS History

NGAUS launched the Special Committee on Manpower in the spring of 1973, to help find ways to recruit new members of the National Guard.

Maj. Gen. Henry W. McMillan, NGAUS president and committee member, thought the group should look into what the association could do “to assist in developing a greater sense of duty and patriotism — to serve in a volunteer military organization.”

He saw “every indication” that the Guard’s problem of maintaining units strength in the new zero-draft environment “will be critical” for the upcoming years.

This Week in Guard History

June 13, 1966: Oahu, Hawaii—With the onset of the Cold War and the threat of long-range Soviet nuclear bombers, the National Guard writes a new chapter in its history of homeland defense.

Beginning in 1954, thousands of Army Guardsmen manned anti-aircraft artillery positions across the country, adopting for the first time a federal mission while in a state status. In the late 1950s the Guard began transitioning from guns to longer-ranged and more lethal missiles.

For exactly 16 years, from September 1958 to September 1974, the Army Guard manned Nike-Ajax and Nike-Hercules missile batteries in an operational status. At the height of the program in 1969, 17 states provided more than 7,000 soldiers to staff 54 missile batteries around sixteen key metropolitan areas.

Hawaii’s 298th Artillery Group was the first Guard unit to adopt the Nike-Hercules missile, becoming operational in 1960.

Produced weekly by the NGAUS communications department. Comments and questions should be directed to e-mail NGAUS.

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