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Homeland Security

Domestic Operations conference a 'historic collaboration' for Air Guard

by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy
National Guard Bureau

9/29/2009 - ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- The recent arrest of several individuals involved in an alleged terrorist plot is a pressing reason to fulfill domestic mission requirements, which address manmade emergencies and natural disasters, the National Guard's senior officer said Sept. 28 here.

"We need to get on with this," said Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

"We need to do it as soon as possible," he said. "No more pick-up game and no more cutting corners."

General McKinley was out-briefed on the work of the Domestic Operations Essential-10 Requirements, called DOERs, conference held here Sept. 21 through 25, which brought Air Guard leaders together from across the country to discuss what the organization needs to fulfill future domestic operations missions.

"This is a historic collaboration and a substantive body of work," said General McKinley, who added that the outcome of the conference resulted in something "we can all live with. This is the start of a journey, and today is the first step."

Oregon Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Bruce W. Prunk, the vice chairman of the Strategic Planning System's western region, said input from all 54 states and territories was instrumental in formulating the Air Guard's future plan for domestic missions.

"It recognizes regional differences in weather and geography. It's not a cookie-cutter approach," he said as he briefed General McKinley and other ANG leaders.

The western region includes FEMA Region-1, which encompasses the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, and the territory of Guam, and covers eight different time zones, General Prunk said. Each location has unique natural challenges such as earthquakes, fires, tsunamis, and volcanoes.

Other regions include Central, Midwest, Atlantic and the Northeast Region, which includes the territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Challenges in those regions range from floods and fires to ice storms and hurricanes.

Conference attendees divided the DOERs requirements into several key areas.

Requirements in command and control, engineering, medical, personnel, communications, transportation, security and logistics support were scrutinized for existing shortcomings and gaps, which were addressed during a number of sessions throughout the week.

Deliberations by participants yielded a number of requirements from each of the regions. These requirements will be collected into a publication, which will be presented to congressional leaders, the departments of the Air Force and the Army, and the states' adjutants general.

The DOERs book will mimic the effort set forth by the highly successful Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Weapons and Tactics Conference held each October in Tucson, Ariz., said Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Moisio, the deputy director of the Air National Guard. "The book will help us prioritize the use of funds most effectively."

ANG leaders hope the data will help them obtain increased funding and resources, so the Air Guard can complete domestic operations it is currently being asked to fulfill, General Moisio said.

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