pressure on them, their families, and their civilian employers. The force structure of the Army mix is being reviewed as this study is being conducted, and, while it is not the purpose of this report to make recommendations in this area, this situation is relevant because it underscores the need to use the country’s assets more efficiently and to ensure that the nation is getting the best return on its investment.

The National Guard

There are 50 states and 4 territories with National Guard units. Each state’s or territory’s Guard has both Army and Air Force components.1 Each Guard has both a federal and a state mission. As part of the federal force, the Army Guard augments the active Army. In its state role, the Army Guard works for the governor of the state and is frequently called on to respond to disasters. The adjutant general in each state or territory is the commander of the state Guard and he or she is directly responsible to the governor. The National Guard, because of its state mission, is usually the first of the Army components to be involved in responding to disasters.

The committee recognizes the recent reorganization of National Guard assets at the state level and below by the chief of the National Guard Bureau and believes that this will ultimately assist the Department of Defense (DOD) in its efforts to provide support to emergency responders.

No organization is better suited than the Army National Guard to provide that rapid assistance. This is not a new mission. The formation of the Guard in the 17th century was designed to protect the settlers in the New World, and the flexibility provided by its dual federal and state status, as well as the fact that there is an armory within 50 miles of 99 percent of the U.S. population, makes this reserve Army component a natural choice for emergency response assignments.

The U.S. Army Reserve

U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) elements are located in 962 locations across the United States and in U.S. territories, as well as in selected areas overseas. The force structure for the USAR is concentrated primarily in the combat service support area. USAR units provide specialized capabilities, particularly as military police and in civil matters involving civil affairs, signal communications, engineering, chemical operations, water purification, and so on. That such capabilities are very much in demand is evidenced by the fact that of the total number of soldiers who were forward deployed at the end of August 2003, more than one-

1  

This report is concerned only with the Army Guard.



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