Clarke Outlines Top Air Guard Priorities

NGAUS Washington Report

(March 26, 2013) Lt. Gen. Stanley E. "Sid" Clarke III hit the ground running last week as he laid out his priorities as Air Guard Director even before he was officially sworn into the job.

Clarke testified at two hearings days before he was formally accepted as the new leader of the Air Guard in a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Friday.

Clarke told members of Congress on two House subcommittees he would pursue three top priorities as Air Guard director: Minimize budget turmoil and its effects on Guard readiness; work with the active-component Air Force and the Air Force Reserve to find the optimum mix of forces; and ensure concurrent modernization of the components of the total Air Force.

On March 19, he appeared before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces as it held a hearing on maintaining the National Guard and the Reserves in a time of fiscal austerity. The next day, Clarke was back on the Hill testifying to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense about oversight of the National Guard.

Clarke emphasized the vital role the Guard plays in the nation’s defense, and that the continuing resolution funding the military and sequestration could adversely impact readiness.

“The National Guard really rests on the use of our full-time force to train and administer our part-time force, but also to do operational duties,” he said.

Clarke also urged Congress to fully fund programs that help the Guard keep equipment modernized and retain operational missions.