Find a Security Clearance Job!

Homeland Security



STATEMENT BY
MAJOR GENERAL RAYMOND F. REES
UNITED STATES ARMY
ACTING CHIEF, NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU

BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERRORISM, UNCONVENTIONAL THREATS AND CAPABILITIES
HOUSE ARMED SERVICE COMMITTEE
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MARCH 13, 2003
 

 

Good morning, Mr. Chairman and other distinguished members of this committee.  Thank you for the invitation to testify before you today on the role of the National Guard in the important homeland security mission.

Recent and Current Activities.

As we begin the 21st century, Homeland Security is the most important issue facing the United States. For almost 200 years the continental US was not directly attacked (with the minor exception of Japanese coastal shelling and incendiary balloons), until the terrorist attacks of the 1990s and on September 11th, 2001. We now believe the prospect of future attacks is significant. To better defend the US, the government has mobilized its resources and has undertaken a major reorganization to more effectively meet the challenge. While the National Guard performed superbly in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, we have begun to make changes to better respond to future attacks, and we will need the help of the Department of Defense and the Congress to make some of those changes. 

The National Guard has a significant role in Homeland Security. Just as the active force is the first to deploy in support of US operations abroad, the National Guard is the first military force to deploy in support of most Homeland Security requirements. The National Guard is a unique dual status, citizen-soldier force that can be activated by the Governor in support of state emergencies and also can be federalized to support national contingency requirements. The Governor can employ the National Guard under state active duty (state commanded, state financed) and Title 32 (state commanded, federally financed), or the National Guard can be federalized under the provisions of Title 10, (federally commanded, federally financed). Its dual state-federal status makes the National Guard a cost effective, flexible force that can be deployed in a variety of circumstances.  Like the Guard units in the states, the National Guard Bureau (a Title 10 entity) has dual roles. We communicate policy, requirements and situational awareness information in both directions through the federal-to-state channel. Further, because most of the state Adjutants General are also the emergency manager for their state, and because many are also their state's Homeland Security Director, we are involved in intergovernmental issues, as well as federal military and interagency ones.

This dual-mission, multi-faceted capability of the Guard was demonstrated in the aftermath of September 11th.

Immediately after the attack on September 11, the National Guard responded. National Guard air assets took to the skies to secure our airspace and other forces were quickly sent to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to assist with security and recovery efforts. Soon after, the President asked the Governors to secure critical US airports and they responded by deploying Guardsmen in Title 32 status at airports in a matter of hours. In addition, many of the states' governors ordered their Guardsmen, in State Active Duty status, to secure critical infrastructure facilities, such as bridges, nuclear power plants, and federal buildings, throughout their states and many of those missions continue today. Other National Guard units and personnel were activated under Title 10 to augment security at the US borders. Their mission was to support the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury in  ensuring that commerce continued to flow while our vital interests were protected. These homeland security missions and others were conducted, and some have continued to be conducted, while Army and Air National Guard forces have been deployed for peacekeeping and stabilization actions in the Balkans and elsewhere, and as a critical part of the war in Southwest Asia. The Guard has also been mobilized to perform force protection missions in the United States in support of preparation for possible war with Iraq. As expected, the National Guard has conducted and continues to conduct all missions in an exceptional manner.

As we move forward, it is apparent that the National Guard will be increasingly involved in all aspects of the Homeland Security mission. The Homeland Security areas we focus on include:

        Combating terrorism
        Military Assistance to Civilian Authorities
        Responding to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield
         explosives incidents
        Missile Defense
        Critical Infrastructure Protection
        Information Operations
        Force Protection
        Protecting the Nation's Sovereignty. 

In addition to these mission areas, the National Guard Bureau's recently-established Office of Homeland Defense will facilitate military support to civil authorities by the Army and Air National Guard. Military support to civil authorities includes domestic disaster relief operations that occur during fires, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. Our support also includes counter-drug operations and incident management assistance, such as would occur after a terrorist event employing a weapon of mass destruction. The National Guard Bureau, in addition to our statutory role as the channel of communication between the Army and the Air Force and the National Guard of the several states, has coordinated with the Combatant Commander of U.S. Northern Command to perform that same role. As part of this, the National Guard Bureau provides situational awareness on state-commanded National Guard operations to the Commander of U.S. Northern Command to augment his ability to effectively plan for and manage the overall role of his command.

The Future of the National Guard in Homeland Security

The fight against terrorism and the protection of our homeland is expected to be a protracted endeavor much like the Cold War. To that end, many policy experts, reports, and studies have advocated an expanded role for the National Guard in Homeland Security. While some have suggested that the National Guard should be reoriented, reequipped, and retrained for the Homeland Security mission, the reality is that the National Guard is an integral part of the Army and Air Force Total Force mission capability and that role is vital to the survival of the nation. In the past the resources, personnel, equipment and training provided for the wartime mission were sufficient to allow the National Guard to also fulfill its local and state support role by responding to local disasters and military support to civilian authorities. Times have changed, however. The threat posed by well-financed, sophisticated and determined international terrorist groups has raised the bar as to what the National Guard must be able to do. While the National Guard will continue to maintain a high state of readiness for overseas operations, it must also better prepare itself to respond to the Homeland Security mission within the US, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US possessions and territories. To that end, we are working hard to find ways to meet the increased demands of the Homeland Security mission while still maintaining our ability to execute our Total Force requirements.

The increased threat and global proliferation of ballistic missiles poses a significant threat to the US, our deployed forces, and our allies. In response to this threat, in December 2002 the Department of Defense directed the deployment of an effective missile defense system capable of defending the territory of the United States against limited ballistic missile attack. The Army National Guard accepted the mission to man the Army portion of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, including both operational and security force elements. The GMD segment is the cornerstone of the Ballistic Missile Defense System Test Bed, and will have an Initial Defensive Operations (ID)) capability by September 2004. This high-visibility program, which will provide protection against limited ballistic missile attack, is an example of the evolving role of the National Guard in Homeland Defense.

Over the next year, and as much longer as it takes, the National Guard Bureau will take the lead in improving the posture of the National Guard for its homeland security mission.

The National Guard Bureau will work with the States as they perform a mission area analysis to determine what additional capabilities are needed to accomplish the homeland security mission and will utilize a systematic programmed approach designed to build our Homeland Security posture for the future. These are the features of that program:

Consolidate the Homeland Security requirements of the 50 States, territories and the District of Columbia. (States know the actual operational requirements better than anyone).

Validate these requirements at the National Guard Bureau level and craft them into packages for submission to the appropriate Combatant Commanders, to the Army and Air Force as requirements that can be built into programs for funding, and to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense.

Use the same requirements to attract emerging funds as appropriate from other government agencies and from any supplemental funding that might occur.

Use our developed requirements to advise and educate agencies, offices, commands, and leaders that have an interest in supporting Homeland Security.

From valid requirements we will build funded programs that insure the success of Homeland Security by using a systematic long-term approach. We believe that a long-term approach is needed to help insure a sustained, comprehensive protective posture for our nation.

As part of this requirements process, which may identify new needs - and thus possibly requests for new manpower or equipment resources, the National Guard Bureau will work to ensure that all feasible efforts are made to leverage technology that improves our Homeland Security capabilities and with it, improve our overall protective posture.

The road ahead also includes a transformation of National Guard Counter Drug efforts into an integrated Counter Narcotics/Homeland Defense Counter Terrorism program. These mission areas employ many of the same tactics, techniques and procedures, as well as equipment, training and skills. Therefore, a great deal of cross-skill transfer will begin immediately once the change is effected, and a quick, effective, seamless transition between and across mission sets will allow Guard troops to readily take their places on the front lines of the war against terrorism at home and abroad.

Northern Command and the Department of Homeland Security.

Our government has initiated a massive reorganization to better respond to the Homeland Security challenge. Northern Command has been activated, the new Department of Homeland Security is in the process of being organized, and the Department of Defense has created a position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense. The National Guard Bureau will work with the Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Northern Command to insure that National Guard missions and capabilities are fully integrated into the overall plan for Homeland Security. Specifically, it will assist Northern Command as that command moves from an initial operating capability to a full operating capability by:

Providing situational awareness of activities by the National Guard of the several states (the non-federalized National Guard).

Integrating and synchronizing existing plans.

Coordinating National Guard resource and training requirements.

Facilitating communication between Northern Command and the State Adjutants General.

  Augmenting the Northern Command staff with National Guardsmen.

Northern Command will undergo a critical year as it transitions from an initial operating capability to a full operating capability by October 2003. During the coming year, the National Guard will be providing personnel to Northern Command in order to fill critical personnel requirements. Additionally, the National Guard is working to develop situational awareness for Northern Command as to the activities that affect Homeland Security within the 50 states and territories. Although most activities of incident management at the federal level will fall under the control of the Department of Homeland Security, a constant monitoring of state-level activities and interests is needed by Northern Command in order to support the lead federal agency when needed. The National Guard, through the National Guard Bureau, is the natural conduit for DoD elements to the states and territories on military-related matters. The majority of the states use the Adjutant General of that state as the state emergency manager. The National Guard is intimately involved in all activities of Homeland Security at the state level. The National Guard Bureau is actively pursuing discussions and several initiatives within the Department of Defense which will likely result in better exploitation by all segments of the Department of Defense of the Bureau's capability as a two-way channel of communication to the National Guard of the several states. We are excited about assisting Northern Command in its emerging role and look forward to facilitating federally funded support of state activities.

In addition, the National Guard Bureau will work, through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, with the new Department of Homeland Security to insure that the National Guard's capabilities and requirements are fully integrated in the overall Homeland Security plan. The new Department of Homeland Security will be greatly assisted by the National Guard plans that are already in effect in all of the states and territories. Since the vast majority of homeland security activities come under state and municipal or other local control, the National Guard planning and activities under State Active Duty (state controlled and funded) and under Title 32 (state controlled, federally funded) will be an integral part of the processes being crafted by the new Department. National Guard Training Centers are existing assets that can be economically expanded to support realistic training and exercises with first responders, law enforcement agencies, and all levels of government integrating National Guard capabilities in homeland security roles. Several states have initiated pilot programs for this effort with federal support at the request of Congress. The National Guard is taking an open supportive approach to intradepartmental, interagency and intergovernmental cooperation for the defense of our Homeland. We each must succeed for all to succeed.

The Army National Guard and the Air National Guard bring several inherent strengths to the Homeland Security environment. Aside from a capable, trained and organized force, there is also an in-place information technology infrastructure that has the potential to provide an efficient, reliable, interoperable, and user-friendly channel of communications for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Northern Command through the National Guard Bureau to the Army and Air Guard. The present information technology infrastructure provides a robust reach-down capability to Army and Air Guard units in the states. However, to meet the emerging needs of Homeland Security missions, enhancements in network reliability and security will have to be incorporated. Additionally, the new requirements pose new challenges in areas such as wireless technology that will allow direct command, control and communications with on-site responders. The National Guard Bureau is uniquely positioned to provide this coordinated, controlled capability, consistent with the statutory requirements of Title 10.

The National Guard supports any overseas fight primarily by supporting Army and Air Force initiatives. Most programmatic and force structure actions, therefore, are Service specific, supporting either the Air War or the Ground War through the respective Services. Examples of initiatives underway in this area include the Army National Guard Restructuring Initiative, an initiative to replace a portion of the existing heavy and light combat structure with Mobile Light Brigades prepared for full spectrum operations in support of the new defense strategy This will meet the Army's evolving needs for expeditionary warfare, as well as giving us more Guard forces well-suited to Homeland Security tasks in support of US Northern Command and US Pacific Command. In the Air National Guard, a Transformation Initiative will result in capabilities-based forces with improved Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Information Technology, Medical Service and operational aircraft with the ability to make strong contributions to both aspects of the Guard's dual federal-state mission. As we render Homeland Security support to the Lead Federal Agencies, however, we must change our approach and support them as a Joint Force - not two separate Services. The lead agencies need and want to deal with a single entity within the National Guard and this year we are prepared to provide that in a seamless manner. A Joint Staff approach out of the National Guard Bureau will present a single flow of information and will strive for a single funding line to support operations. In addition, the State Area Command will become a true joint state headquarters with enhanced capabilities. In this way, our team is coming together to support our communities and homeland institutions with expanded capabilities and improved linkages to national command and control mechanisms. In addition, the National Guard will continue to participate in the planning and execution of interagency exercises with local, state and federal agencies thereby building relationships that may prove useful during future contingency operations.

The ability of the National Guard Bureau to maintain awareness, conduct coordination, provide guidance and resources to the National Guard must be strong to meet the growing needs of Homeland Security. To that end, the National Guard Bureau's Office of Homeland Defense has evolved as the focal point for that effort. It has assumed responsibility for these initiatives. To further ensure continuity and centralized management of all Homeland Security activities, our Office of Homeland Defense recently incorporated the civil support function under its control. The NGB Office of Homeland Defense will work with the States to determine their requirements to accomplish the Homeland Security mission. It will be this entity within the National Guard Bureau that will coordinate with the States, The Joint Staff, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Pacific Command, and, through the Office of the Secretary of Defense, with other federal government agencies to manage all Homeland Security efforts.

The Civil Support Team Program.

For the past two years the National Guard has had a very tangible asset to offer in support of the civilian and emergency first responder communities in the area of Homeland Security - its Civil Support Teams. With the help of Congress, the Department of Defense, and the Army, the Guard has continued to strengthen the Civil Support Program, under which these teams fall. The teams provide rapid support to local, state and federal authorities in dealing with the consequences of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high yield explosive events. Of the 32 Civil Support Teams that have been established, the Secretary of Defense has operationally certified 30. The remaining two are expected to be certified no later than March 31, 2003. An additional 23 teams have been authorized by the Congress, and DoD is developing a plan to field them as expeditiously as possible.

Several of the certified teams were integrally involved in response efforts to the September 11th terrorist attack and to the anthrax attacks and hoaxes that were perpetrated throughout the nation in the ensuing months. The Civil Support Teams have been increasingly integrated into the planning, training and operations at every level of emergency response ever since. In fact, during the year following the September 11th attacks, the 27 certified teams collectively performed nearly 800 missions at the request of the agencies they support.

These teams provide state and local authorities specialized expertise and technical assistance to the incident commander to:

Identify chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high yield explosive substances or agents.

  Assess the situation; determine the type of weapon used and the likely consequences.

  Advise the incident commander on potential courses of action.

   Assist the local incident commander's response strategy with cutting edge technology and expertise.

Operationally, these teams are under the command and control of the governors through their respective Adjutants General in a USC Title 32 status. Should it be required, a team can be federalized and called to serve in a USC Title 10 capacity. The National Guard Bureau provides logistical support, standardized operational procedures and operational coordination to facilitate the employment of these teams and to provide depth and backup capability to states currently without a full-time Civil Support Team.

In order to be the best resource possible to those entities they assist, it is crucial that the teams continue to be complementary to and interoperable with all of the federal, state and local organizations with whom they work. This means that they must continue to be equipped with and trained on the state of the art technologies, requiring that they remain a high priority for resourcing at all levels within the Department of Defense.

Issues of importance that are being addressed at many levels in support of improving the Civil Support Team program include the following: coordination with Transportation Command and other commands to formalize the processes of requesting airlift for these units. This is required to minimize response times to remote and/or hard to access incident sites and thereby optimizing their utility to incident commanders. Intensive recruiting, special pay and acquisition issues are being worked by staff at the National Guard Bureau's Homeland Defense Office to address some of the more challenging issues the program faces in remaining a value-added capability to their civilian counterparts.

The National Guard - A Total Force Component with A Key Homeland Security Role

In summary, Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, our adversaries will not rest- "the clock is ticking" -so our preparation must be immediate, exact and effective. The National Guard gives this nation a tremendous capability in that its members live, work and play within the communities they defend. The Guardsmen know their home turf. The people trust their National Guard and always feel comforted by their presence during a crisis. We will take that trust and solid experience to build the National Guard into a proactive, technologically superior team that is trained and ready to deal with any and all threats to our homeland. To further that end, the National Guard Bureau will remain the best link from the DoD to the National Guard of the several states. Because of the dual roles of the Guard, this link will address departmental, interagency, and intergovernmental policy and requirements issues. The NGB, and the Guard as a whole, will continue to cooperate and train with all local, state and federal agencies in an effort to improve response capabilities. In its dual State and Federal roles, the National Guard will continue to provide ready forces to the combatant commanders, we will support other government agencies when asked, and will take the lead, when appropriate, in the defense of our homeland.

It has been my distinct pleasure to be here today.  I thank you for the opportunity to testify on this critically important aspect and mission of the National Guard.  I welcome any questions you may have.

House Armed Services Committee
2120 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list