A Decade of Operational Missions and Organizational Milestones
Carpenter, Raymond W., Army
Army National Guard
As the Army National Guard (ARNG) enters the second decade of the 21st century and the 10th year of overseas contingency operations, we look back on our most significant accomplishments and look ahead to our most daunting challenges. Our triumphs can be summarized as our personnel transformation in quantity and quality; our air and land equipment and facility modernization; and our ramped-up readiness through more realistic and extensive training. Our three greatest challenges, and thus our goals, revolve around our need to define a new "normal" in which the ARNG is endorsed as an operational force, our soldiers continue to be challenged with innovative programs and our organization builds resilience in our soldiers and families.
Personnel Transformation in Quantity and Quality
Army National Guard recruiting is strong and increasingly selective, with more than 363,000 soldiers on our rolls and an authorized end strength of 358,200. As of May, reenlistment/ retention was at 108.6 percent of our plan. The Army National Guard has exceeded the Secretary of Defense's key quality objectives: keeping high school diploma graduation rates above 90 percent - our May 2010 percentage was 94.7 percent; maintaining category I through UlA enlistments above 60 percent (recruits scoring above the 50th percentile) - our May percentages were 67 percent; and limiting category IV enlistments (recruits scoring below the 70th percentile) to under 4 percent - our May percentage was 1.3 percent.
To provide the best support and transition assistance for wounded, injured and ill soldiers, the Army National Guard continues to support warrior transition units, both installation- and community-based. Installation-based units provide clinical and nonclinical support, complex case management and transition assistance for soldiers of all components at medical treatment facilities on active Army installations. The community-based units provide high-quality health care, administrative processing and transition assistance for recuperating reserve component soldiers while they live at home and perform duties close to their homes and families. At the end of fiscal year (FY) 2009, the installation-based units sustained more than 1,500 Army National Guard soldiers, and the communitybased units sustained another 900 ARNG soldiers.
Air and Land Equipment and Facility Improvements
This past year, Army National Guard aviation units operated from 104 facilities, including 96 aviation support and operating facilities, four aviation classification and repair activity depots, and four aviation training sites. Eighty-two of these facilities are on civilian airfields; 22 are on federal or state military installations. For FY 2010, the ARNG worked on five aviation facility construction projects totaling $113.3 million. The Future Years Defense Plan 2010-2015 contains $289.5 million budgeted for 16 aviation facility construction projects to support aviation transformation, force modernization, new unit and equipment fielding for unmanned aviation systems, and legacy facility projects to enable support facilities and training sites to meet aviation training, maintenance and mission requirements.
Army National Guard aviation facilitates the sourcing of aircraft and aviation personnel in support of each state; the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; and the District of Columbia during crisis situations, national-level exercises and national security events. ARNG aviation provides an expeditious response to civil authorities in support of emergency operations.
ARNG aviation assets provide rapid response for disaster recovery; they provide governors and local authorities with readily available capabilities. Dual-mission assets of ARNG aircraft provide or augment local government and law enforcement capabilities in the role of military defense support to civil authority.
The Army National Guard air and land equipping levels for domestic missions had fallen from 70 percent in 2001 to as low as 40 percent in 2006. …