Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Mission to Africa, Lessons for a Lifetime

By Col. Peter VanAmburgh,
Georgia Army National Guard Chief of Staff
Published in the Journal of International Peace Operations
May 1, 2011

The thought of African military engagements rarely invokes images of preparation for disaster relief or humanitarian operations. The effect that this type of operational training can have on participants, including local populations, is not widely recognized. Exercise Natural Fire 10, the largest humanitarian and disaster relief exercise conducted on African soil to date, is contributing to stronger and more robust disaster response capabilities and a better understanding of the local impact.

Natural Fire 10 involved moving National Guard and Reserve forces from the continental United States and Germany, along with representative forces from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, to several sites in Uganda. The three-week mission aimed to build partner capacity and interoperability, but went much farther than its stated goals. It left all participants with key lessons for multinational operations and a deep appreciation for one another and the Ugandan people.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Improving the National Guard’s Capacity to Provide Defense Support to Civil Authorities

By Col. Colonel Thomas Carden
Commander, 560th Battlefield Subservience Brigade
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Strategic Studies Degree from the U.S. Army War College
August 8, 2008

On September 11, 2001, the National Guard started a no-notice transformation from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve. This transformation stretched the National Guard’s capacity to perform its role in homeland security and civil support. It is important to note that the National Guard is the only Department of Defense entity with responsibility to both the state and federal government.

The dual missions of the Guard have become the subject of extensive debate and controversy since 9/11. When Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana and Mississippi, the National Guard found itself fighting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan while simultaneously providing much needed support to civil authorities in New Orleans and Mississippi. The extensive requirements associated with the Global War on Terror (GWOT), a pre-9/11 resourcing model, and the lack of clear civil support requirements create unacceptable vulnerabilities that require immediate action to improve the National Guard’s capacity to respond to provide support to civil authorities.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reflecting on 15 years of partnership with the nation of Georgia

By Maj. Gen. William T. Nesbitt
Georgia’s Adjutant General
Published by the Marietta Patch
June 8, 2011

 The nation of Georgia is perhaps best known (if it is known at all) by those in the state of Georgia for its 2008 military conflict with Russia in South Ossetia or from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, when Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was tragically killed during a training run hours before the opening ceremony.

And while Tbilisi and Atlanta may be worlds apart, literally and figuratively, Citizen-Soldiers of both Georgia capitals have been working together for a decade and a half in a bilateral, military-to-military contact program known as the State Partnership Program.