National Guard -- DOD's Logical Homeland Security 'First Responder' for the 21st Century   [open pdf - 490KB]

"The Pentagon should formally refocus the National Guard's primary mission to homeland security issues, specifically consequence management matters. Furthermore, this organization should function as DoD's [Department of Defense] lead agency for this critical task and accordingly provide permanently assigned forces to NORTHCOM for contingency execution. […]. The current National Guard has two roles -- one as the constitutional militia in 54 states, territories and DC and the other as Reserve Components of the Army and the Air Force. The 21st Century threat presents unique challenges to America's security establishment and necessitates an update to the role and mission assigned our National Guard forces. Current DoD initiatives to maintain Cold War Roundout / Affiliation Programs and redesign traditional divisional organization into deployable brigade sets ignores the Guard's potential, usefulness and traditional mandate to protect the homeland. A consequence management response posture is necessary, with 'regionalization' of the National Guard's command structure and assets providing 'capability sets' for immediate relief of affected communities and to establish conditions for federal follow-on emergency management services. Because the newly created NORTHCOM retains DoD responsibility for security of the North American continent, it simply makes sense to apportion and/or assign Guard forces to this combatant commander for this purpose. The changes recommended combine the Guard's traditional foundation of service to the community with immediate relevancy; 'capable and accessible when called…committed to preserving the timeless traditions and values of service to the nation…'"

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