Issues & Advocacy

Joint Forces Strengthen National Guard Responses

Joint forces direct missions that cross over the Air and Army National Guards – strengthening National Guard responses in the U.S. and abroad.

National Joint Staff

The Joint Staff at the National Guard Bureau is responsible for missions that cross over both the Air National Guard and the Army National Guard.

The joint staff is responsible for assisting the Chief of the National Guard Bureau in the direction and control of all National Guard Domestic Operations by planning, coordinating, sharing information, and integrating all aspects of operations, including the Counterdrug Program and the Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams Program.

The NGB joint staff coordinates operational issues with key leaders and agencies within United States government agencies – including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Combatant Commanders of United States Northern Command, United States Pacific Command and United States Southern Command.

State Joint Force Headquarters

Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) were established (provisionally) in October, 2003 in each of the 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, two U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia.

The establishment of JFHQ reorganizes the previously separate Army National Guard and Air National Guard headquarters into a joint "Command and Control" activity that forges closer relationships between the National Guard Bureau, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff to improve Department of Defense access to National Guard capabilities.

Joint Force Headquarters are directly involved in coordinating support for disasters and emergencies such as hurricane and flood responses, large events like the Presidential Inauguration and terrorist attacks or threats.

A Joint Operations Center is now operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in each state.

Joint Forces In Action

In 2011 alone, National Guard joint forces:

  • Responded to 58 natural disasters
  • Responded to 128 missions in 38 states
  • Provided 70 percent of the Department of Defense forces for response to weapons of mass destruction

Today, National Guard joint forces field 10 Homeland Response Forces (HRF), one in each FEMA region. HRFs are trained to provide lifesaving capabilities following a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear event. To date, the National Guard domestic mission has been instrumental in 30,000 apprehensions and seizure of 115,000 pounds of marijuana on the border.