(Sept. 13, 2013) The head of the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs will speak to attendees this month at the 135th NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition in Honolulu.
Secretary Eric Shinseki will appear during the first business session on Sept. 21. The wounded veteran of Vietnam and retired general is dealing with a backlog of claims that has frustrated veterans and angered members of Congress. His speech will no doubt be of interest to the audience of National Guard members and retirees.
Other speakers of note highlight the new stance of the American military toward the Pacific region. The so-called pivot to the Pacific will require National Guard involvement and the speakers lined up will have the knowledge to do explain what that means.
They include Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the commander of the U.S. Army, Pacific, and Maj. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy, the chief of staff of Pacific Air Forces.
Attendees will also hear from Gen. Frank. J. Grass, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, who will address the conference theme, “America’s National Guard: A Force Leaning Forward.”
U.S. Rep. Howard P. McKeon, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, will appear during the second business session on Sept. 22.
Attendees will also hear from Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Janine Davidson, who is a member of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force. Davidson will address the Air Guard separate session on Sept. 23.
Lt. Gen. William E. Ingram Jr. the director of the Army National Guard, and Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, the director of the Air National Guard, will speak at the Army and Air separate sessions.