Command and Control of the National Guard

The National Governor’s Association (NGA), founded in 1908, is a bipartisan organization composed of the nation’s Governors. NGA works to promote visionary state leadership, shared best practices as well as speaks with a collective voice on national policy.

This year in particular, NGA was instrumental in fighting against the Air Force’s decision make cuts disproportionately to the Air National Guard in their FY13 budget.

The nation’s Governors serve as the commanders-in-chief of their respective state’s National Guard forces. As the only military force at the Governors’ disposal, the Guard is called up as a critical resource in emergency response, with much needed capabilities.

Yet, since the Guard as an operational force, it is also called up to duty on the national level, supporting overseas missions alongside the active duty forces.

This unique dual-missioned nature of the Guard makes it a highly flexible organization capable of rapid adaptation and mobilization, responding to the evolving threat environment both at home and abroad, as a cost effective solution.

But, this dual nature causes concerns among the nations’ Governors – specifically when it comes to the coordination of state and federal military forces during disaster response.

Yesterday, NGA released a report, America Wins: The Struggle for Control of the National Guard, which highlights successes in codifying Dual Status Command. It also outlines the challenges faced by the Governors and the Guard, taking a historical look at events such as Hurricane Katrina and wildfires in Western states.

To learn more about what the National Governors Association is doing, check out http://www.nga.org/cms/home.html

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