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Lt. Gen. Russell C. Davis
December 13, 2001
Good Morning, Madame Chairman and other distinguished members of this committee. Thank you for the invitation to testify before you today on role of the National Guard in the important Homeland Security mission.
On September 11th, 2001, the first military response to the terrible attack on America was led by members of the 102nd Fighter Wing, Massachusetts Air National Guard at Otis ANGB. Two F-15 Eagle jets from Otis were the first to arrive at the World Trade Center, just minutes after United Airlines Flight 175 sliced into the second tower. While they were unable to alter the course of history on that morning, they now stand guard with renewed vigilance.
It is fitting that the Massachusetts National Guard responded that frightful morning; for it was Massachusetts that formed the first militia in the colonies in 1636. Homeland security was a critical priority of the Massachusetts Bay Colony when they formed a militia of citizen soldiers to defend themselves. For almost 365 years, the citizen-soldiers and airmen of the National Guard have been the solid shield that has defended America at home, and the sword that America has wielded overseas in all her wars since that early period.
In the 1950's, the Air National Guard was sitting runway alert all over America to "Defend America's Skies" against enemy air attack. The Army National Guard had a similar role during that period manning Nike missile defense batteries for almost two decades.
As the Cold War threat receded, America chose to reduce its commitment to Continental Air Defense. America turned to other priorities, mostly overseas. The National Guard has played a significant role in every major contingency since the Gulf War in support of the combatant CINCs.
Now we have been asked to respond once again. President Bush has asked our armed forces to "Be ready". We are. He said the hour will come when America will act, and "you will make us proud."
Your National Guard is responding everywhere in thousands of ways, to the destiny that has been thrust upon us.
Within hours, National Guardsmen from New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Maryland were among the first on the scene supporting the responders and civil authorities at the scenes of the disaster. National Guardsmen responded to the recent tragic events by supporting our governors, the several states, territories, and the District of Columbia plus the many other civil authorities in answering the needs of our nation.
The National Guard stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the civil responders in this crisis, and remains a vital component of the recovery process. We are proud to have supported the brave firefighters, EMS and law enforcement officials at the scene of the disasters. We provided medical personnel to care for the injured, military police to assist local law enforcement officials, key asset protection, transportation, communications, logistics, and a myriad of other support functions. We are making our resources available as needed, to restore order, stability, and safety to our fellow citizens. Our newly certified Civil Support Teams provided WMD support in their operational debut.
At the latest count, (Dec 11) about 42,000 Guardsmen from 54 states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had been called to service in response to Operations "Noble Eagle" and "Enduring Freedom". We are responding as we are designed - "dual-missioned," -- to both federal and state requirements.
The machinery of accessibility has worked just as it was designed, and the National Guard has been both prompt and flexible in meeting the levy of the President and the governors in responding to the needs of the nation and the individual states. Our dual status (state and federal) has proved to be a particularly useful feature of our organization.
On September 27, President Bush asked the governors to call up over 7,000 National Guardsmen to supplement security at the nation's 420 commercial airports for up to six months. The first National Guardsmen were on duty the very next day. They were joined shortly by others. The purpose is to restore the faith and confidence of the public in commercial air travel until more permanent arrangements can be made. Our commercial airline industry is a key link in the national economy and vital to our nation's interests. Once again, the governors and the adjutants general who command the National Guard at the state level responded very rapidly to these requests.
We were ready and are prepared to "call out more of the National Guard" as needed for these important missions. National Guardsmen add an armed, comforting presence visible to the traveling public. Uniformed Guardsmen provide a visible display of American resolve, in order to reassure the public and to deter our foes. And not just in the airports.
More will surely follow.
There is no question that we have experienced a seismic upheaval in the way we think about national defense. How did we respond to the attack upon us on September 11th? Swiftly, with determination, and resolve. Swiftly, because we are in a war and that gives us a sense of urgency regarding the safety and security of our citizens. With determination and resolve because this war promises to be a long campaign. Like the Massachusetts militiamen, we face foes on several flanks. The United States must guard against further attacks at home, while it prosecutes an expeditionary campaign abroad.
That is precisely the role of today's National Guard. We are part of the same team that is girding itself to provide both the shield of homeland defense, and at the same time to wield the sword of combat power in support of the Combat CINCs to protect America here at home or far from her shores.
As the president said, our primary task is to "be ready." The National Guard must continue to be prepared for our responsibility as the first-line, ready-reserve defense force for America. It is the combat mission we have always had, at home and abroad, since the first Regiments of 1636, through the intervening years, and today, remains one of our fundamental responsibilities to recognize these roles alongside the combat role.
Prior to the attacks on September 11, 2001 the National Guard had 12,400 personnel on duty performing federal and state missions. Over 450 National Guard members were in state active duty status fighting forest fires, protecting our communities from natural disasters, such as floods and storms, providing drinking water or electrical power, and other domestic missions. Nearly 12,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen were deployed in support of CINC or Service requirements world-wide in a variety of combat and combat support missions, Bosnia/Kosovo, Southern and Northern Watch in Southwest Asia, and the enduring air sovereignty mission of Air National Guard and 1st Air Force air defense units.
Within minutes to hours of the hijack notification 34 Air National Guard fighter units were "generated" (prepared for combat operations), ready or flying over the Nation's skies performing combat air patrol missions, leveraging critical combat skills and equipment, including Presidential Aircraft escort. In New York and New Jersey, the National Guard immediately began what was to become a response involving over 8,000 soldiers and airmen to provide support to efforts at the World Trade Center site. Eighteen Air National Guard refueling wings, multiple strategic and tactical airlift units (C-5, C-141 and C-130), along with Army National Guard aircraft, provided necessary lift support to the combat air patrols, consequence management activities and Enduring Freedom response requirements. National Guard units provided rescue support, civil engineers, communications and power generation capability, air traffic control, medical teams, chaplains and other service support operations, i.e., food and shelter service, public affairs and command and control entities. New York's WMD Civil Support Team provided analysis confirming the absence of Chemical, Biological or Radiological contamination at the scene, thus expediting efforts of the fire, police and medical support.
Since that disastrous day, because of its unique community-based structure, the National Guard, significantly increased its "dual mission" (state and federal) responsibilities to meet the requirements of the nation at home and abroad. As I said earlier, about 42,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen have been called to duty to help manage the consequences of the attacks and prosecute the resultant war on terrorism.
The National Guard's unique WMD Civil Support Teams have responded to more than 300 suspected chemical/biological incidents in which they put their cutting-edge training and technology to precisely the use Congress envisioned.
Even National Guard counterdrug equipment and personnel responded to fill specific gaps in transportation, and to provide photo reconnaissance and command and control support to Law Enforcement in the days immediately following the terrorist attacks.
In addition, several thousand National Guardsmen are providing force protection at military installations and protecting other critical assets around the country.
Finally, the National Guard responded to the President's request to provide airport security to more than 400 airports across the nation.
Today the Guard is performing these missions along with providing combat and support units and personnel deployed in the operations to defeat terrorism across the globe. As of 26 November 2001, National Guard personnel deployed are comprised of 3,000 on state-active-duty and over 47,000 soldiers and airmen in support of CINC or Service requirements worldwide in a variety of combat and combat support missions. This is a near three-fold increase since the September 11 attacks.
The mission of the National Guard, like all other military organizations, is driven by its the roles and capabilities needed to meet the threat; and the resources that must be allocated to sustain needed capabilities.
Let me just recap what went well on and after September 11.
We were able to get National Guard troops rapidly into federal status. Maryland Army National Guard military police units were dispatched to provide security at the Pentagon in less than 24 hours after the attack. As I mentioned earlier, Air National Guard fighters were on the scene within minutes.
We were able to bring even fairly large amounts of military personnel and equipment rapidly to bear on the mission. Even after the on-site civilian Incident Command structure was tragically lost during the collapse of the World Trade Center, the NY National Guard was able to effectively receive and fill requests for support from the FDNY "second team" after they were up and running.
We were able to employ National Guard forces across state lines. New Jersey National Guard readily joined in support of the recovery efforts. California-based Cargo Inspection Systems were sent to enhance border security operations in the state of New York. The ability of National Guard forces to operate across state lines was also perfectly demonstrated recently when the state of West Virginia fought floods using National Guard assets from five states under provisions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
We were able to integrate requested federal forces into the response, in this case because of the unique institution of the New York Naval Militia, the Governor of New York was able to gain access to Navy and Marine Corps Reserve assets inside his state as they were needed.
Within 10 days of the attacks, we took steps to establish a NGB Homeland Security office to acquire, manage, and distribute the necessary resources and information. This office was an expansion on an already existing cell and has been the central hub for the nearly overnight execution of the airport security mission.
We established this office because as the National Guard's roles and missions in the security of the homeland expands and strengthens, we at the National Guard Bureau understand that a commensurately expanded capability to oversee that role will be needed. Fortunately, the National Guard Bureau has a demonstrated capability and many years of successful experience in effectively coordinating across 54 states and territories.
The Future of the National Guard in Homeland Security
Madame Chairman, the National Guard needs to be empowered for success on both the homefront and the warfront -- precisely where it has always been oriented. The tremendous cost-effectiveness of the National Guard over large standing forces is not an advantage to be cast aside lightly.
In addition to our current Key Asset and Force Protection missions, we are also evaluating other Homeland Defense roles that the National Guard could receive as America's homeland security is strengthened.
Dual Mission Orientation is Essential
The magnificent efficiency of the National Guard has always been its orientation on both protecting the lives and property of Americans here at home and on going to war to support American interests globally.
The National Guard has participated with distinction in every major armed conflict of this nation and this mission should not change. The special utility for the Nation is that in addition to being a critical war-fighting asset, the National Guard is also a crucial source of local and state emergency response support. Both are critically important to the nation and keeping both missions together is critical to the future strength of the National Guard. The resources, personnel, equipment, and training provided to accomplish the war-fighting allow the National Guard to support their local and state missions.
One specific example of this "dual-missioned" capability is found in the combat capability of National Guard F-16's flying combat air patrols over America since day one. These same units rely heavily on precision targeting equipment for visual identification while at the same time using this same critical equipment in their AEF Air Superiority role in Operation Southern and Northern Watch. The National Guard clearly could take on a greater role in performing the Homeland Security mission, however it is equally or more important than ever that it maintain its combat and combat support mission capability. All adversaries and enemies of the United States take note when the National Guard is deployed in our combat conflicts because they recognize the National Guard as the grass roots support of the local people in that conflict.
In summary, Madame Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Committee the National Guard has tremendous local and state-based, quick response capability to support the local, state and federal agencies in accomplishing the Homeland Security Mission. It has been performing that role at the local, state and federal level since its inception 365 years ago today. It will continue in the important effort to protect and defend our nation against all enemies foreign (as deployed combat forces) and domestic (as Homeland Security forces.)
It has been my distinct pleasure to be here today, I thank you for the opportunity to testify on this critically important aspect and mission of the National Guard. I welcome any questions you may have.