December 13, 2001
Good Morning, Madam Chairwoman and other distinguished members of this committee. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to provide insights from the states perspective, on the role of the National Guard in the important Homeland Security mission
While the issue of homeland security is one that has recently been thrust to the forefront of national awareness, it is important to recognize that these issues and concerns have been a central element of readiness, daily planning and operations at the state level for many years. My remarks today are a reflection, based on the experience gained from state mobilizations for earthquakes, floods, wildfires, and civil disturbances. I have been involved in federal mobilizations to support national security events dating to Viet Nam, Desert Storm, and virtually every conflict or peacekeeping activity since.
There are many important reasons for considering the role of the National Guard in homeland security. Allow me to describe a few of the most crucial that are key to our success, and ultimately to the success of homeland security for our nation. Specifically:
1. The Mission Belongs to the National Guard
The National Guard is uniquely positioned to support Homeland Security for three reasons.
a. First, we are The Nation's homeland force. This is why our founders established the Militia. Our units are located in over 3000 communities across the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Territories of Guam and The US Virgin Islands.
b. More importantly, we have been the homeland security force since 1636 with the formation of the first unit in Massachusetts. The National Guard supports civil authorities in a myriad of missions, from community and national security to natural disasters and civil disturbances. We have also supported civil authorities in missions ranging from the war on drugs to participating in programs to encourage the youth of our nation to embrace the values, education, and social skills that define the fabric of our nation.
c. Finally, the National Guard is an integral element within each state government, fully integrated into state emergency response systems, even serving in many cases as the governor's executive agent for emergency management, and in all cases as the governor's trained, equipped, and deployable force to meet immediate emergency situations.
2. Increase the Capability of the National Guard, without transferring existing capabilities to other components of the Armed Services.
Homeland Security is not the single mission of the National Guard but one that should be codified in law and resourced in conjunction with identified requirements. Current National Guard force structure is designated by the active services to support their war fighting requirements, and that resource should be maintained as the most cost-effective method to meet the needs of the active services.
Adding force structure to the National Guard makes strong fiscal and operational sense for two reasons. First, adding Homeland Security capabilities to the National Guard, as opposed to other components, increases both the federal and the state response capabilities. This, because the full spectrum of assets are available to both the Governor and for Federal Mobilization.
Migrating current combat and combat support capabilities away from the National Guard to other components would reduce the available support to the active component, until the same capabilities could be generated elsewhere. Secondly, current capabilities of the National Guard provide the capacity currently required by each governor in exercising military support to the civil authorities within their state. Any capabilities that are migrated out of the National Guard become unavailable to the governor, except under federal mobilization.
3. The need for Local Control
Homeland Security is a function that requires national authorization and coordination, however, planning and execution is best accomplished at the state and local level. In all cases, military support activities under homeland security will be subsequent to, and in concert with, local first responders such as; police, sheriff, firefighters, medical personnel, and emergency management offices. This support role necessitates close coordination and planning well in advance of any deployment in response to any specific incident. This planning is best accomplished between the primary first responders and the National Guard, who are the military first responders. In virtually every state, this planning and coordination is routinely accomplished between the first responders and the National Guard as part of the current incident response system.
4. The Need for Limited Dedicated, Scaleable Force Structure.
The appropriate response for supporting Homeland Security, is to balance the current capabilities in the National Guard with the increased needs for this most recent mission. To meet these requirements in the most cost efficient manner, the National Guard needs to establish a core of dedicated units and capabilities for Homeland Security. It is not necessary to have 100% of the requirements in dedicated structure. The likelihood is slight that all National Guard units within a state would be federally mobilized in support of the Army and Air Force, concurrent with requirements for Homeland Security.
But, it is possible that relying solely on federally deployable units to plan, coordinate, exercise, and conduct homeland security missions could result in the need for two critical missions being simultaneously required. For example, currently, the majority of the military police units in California have been federally mobilized to support Army and Air Force federal missions, yet many of the missions currently underway in California could best be accomplished with these types of units. It is certainly reasonable to anticipate that assets that are in demand for Homeland Security could also be in demand for federal activation in times of crisis, so some redundant capabilities may be necessary. To facilitate economy of scale, career management, training efficiencies, and to protect current federal mobilization requirements, establishing a limited dedicated force for homeland security, sized to meet the unique requirements of each state, should be authorized.
5. The Need for Connectivity
There has been demonstrated a reoccurring need for a national method of connecting responsible agencies across local and state as well as agency boundaries. After action reviews of recent events show that this need significantly impacts the efficiency of homeland security missions. The National Guard is in the process of fielding a nationwide network called GUARDNET that, if extended to all National Guard facilities, could provide low cost access to first responders nationally. Extending GUARDNET to all National Guard facilities and first responders could resolve the issue of the lack of an integrated warning/information/coordination system, such as that identified in Homeland Defense: State of the Union, May 2001 (Col Randall J Larson & Dr. Ruth A. David)
6. The need for coordinated training
One need look no farther than the recent events of 9-11 to recognize the need for a standardized and coordinated training effort that ties together all of the various elements that respond to homeland security and Military Support to Civil Authorities. The greater the event, the more critical coordinated training in advance of the incident becomes. When a military organization responds in direct support of a single agency, on-site coordination and training can be effective. When an event reaches the proportions of the events of September 11, the criticality of immediate response can quickly overcome the availability of training time.
Deploying first responders, be they civil authorities or soldiers as first military responders, with inadequate or ad hoc training diminishes the effectiveness of the response and increases the potential for error. The National Guard has developed and is deploying a Distributed Training Technology Program that provides two way audio-visual and data capabilities.
Today in the United States, approximately 74% of the 30,000 fire departments are staffed primarily by volunteer fire fighters. The 785,000 volunteer fire fighters would benefit tremendously by having state-of-the-art training available through their local National Guard armory, and the Guard's Distributed Training Technology Program can provide that capability.
Another example of the complexity and breadth of the training requirement is the law enforcement community in California. California has 525 different local law enforcement agencies. These include 58 county sheriffs and 5 county marshals, 349 police departments, 10 police departments of the University of California, 23 State College police departments, 19 police departments at the public school level, and 31 community college police departments; plus the California Highway Patrol and various transit police departments as well as federal agencies that could respond to major events within the state.
Accelerating and extending the fielding of the Distributed Training Technology Program (DTTP) would serve three purposes.
First, the military readiness of the National Guard to respond to both Homeland Security and National Defense missions would be greatly enhanced.
Second, the DTTP classrooms would provide first responders access to state of the art training, provided locally, on a schedule that meets the requirements of the local volunteer. This training can include incident response training, initial and refresher training, and coordinating activities across functional and departmental lines.
Finally, the capability of two way voice & data communications (Video-Tele Conferencing) at the local level provides the capability for continued governmental operations during crisis situations by enabling each armory to serve as a local incident command center or alternate government office.
7. The need for a state specific plan
The need for a plan that is specific to each state's requirements cannot be over-stated. No two states will have the same homeland security needs. To begin with, the potential mission requirements will vary from state to state. While some states, such as California, may have requirements to plan for supporting seaport activities, others will not. Some states coordinate with federal agencies to address international borders. Additionally, each state has their own unique mix of first responders and existing National Guard capabilities. Most critically, the governor of each respective state is individual who bears the responsibility for planning and conducting emergency operations. Whether these incidents are natural disasters or acts of terrorism, the governor is responsible for the public safety of the citizens of each state.
The final program adopted by this Congress must provide to the governor the means to develop (within reason of course) a capability and resource mix that balances needs of the state with existing capabilities and allocates new resources to those requirements that mitigate the greatest risk. Additionally, states need to be able to use commercial off-the-shelf technologies to meet specialized requirements, whenever this method is proven to be most effective.
It is anticipated that the majority of requirements in state specific plans will center on six major functions to strengthen capabilities within the state. These are:
a. Command, Control, and Liaison Capabilities to plan, practice, and perform the integration of military assets and civilian first responders to best meet the needs of the state.
b. Fill critical transportation requirements for both ground transportation and aviation shortfalls. We recognize from recent operations that timeliness is critical in responding to homeland security requirements, and in most states the available transportation assets are woefully inadequate to support projected needs.
¢ The aviation posture of the National Guard on 9/11 was that over 54% of our fleet of aircraft was obsolete and targeted for retirement with no replacements in the pipeline. The current proposal is to retire the current Viet Nam era airframes and to re-allocate the remaining airframes, (dating to 1977) across the entire force. The net impact will be a reduction from the current 1100 Utility & Cargo airframes (CH47, UH1, UH60 only) to an end state of 799, an overall reduction of nearly 28% The relative impacts on representative states is as follows:
State Current Cargo Projected End State Impact
i. California 59 36 -40%
ii. Arizona 8 8 N/C
iii. Ohio 34 26 -24%
iv. Alabama 38 27 -29%
v. Kentucky 15 14 -7%
vi. Delaware 19 13 -32%
vii. Wisconsin 25 17 -32%
viii. Washington 16 14 -12%
¢ In California, we are short 440 HUMMV vehicles (nationally the shortfall to meet current requirements is in excess of 6000 vehicles), we are short 185 line haul tractors, and our cargo truck fleet includes over 1100 trucks that date to 1953-1973. While this represents the current situation in California, I suspect a similar situation exists throughout the National Guard.
¢ Furthermore, these trucks are specifically designed for off-road applications, which limits their speed, their cargo hauling capabilities, and their fuel efficiency. Anyone stuck behind a National Guard Convoy on a two-lane road understands the limitations of applying tactical vehicles to over-the-road applications.
c. Chemical-Biological Reconnaissance and Decontamination. Some states, such as California have been assigned Civil Support teams, but the majority of states are still short this capability, and in large states additional teams may well be required. In the three months following 9/11, the 9th Civil Support Team, stationed in California, has already responded to eight different deployments, including deploying across state lines for a national event.
d. Medical Response Capabilities. Virtually all medical capabilities, in excess of basic first aid medics, have been removed from the Army National Guard. This has severely reduced the Governor's homeland security medical response capability. The US Air Force Surgeon General and the Air National Guard have developed a low cost solution that will provide an excellent medical response for both natural disasters and homeland security events.
e. Law Enforcement Capabilities. The value of additional law enforcement resources for homeland security assets cannot be overstated. Most of the current deployments both in California and nationally could be best accomplished with trained, equipped law enforcement units, but most of our law enforcement trained units have already been deployed to federal missions, in many cases outside the state.
f. Engineer Capabilities. As with medical capabilities, much of the engineering capabilities in excess of battlefield engineering have been migrated outside the National Guard. In California, we have lost our vertical construction capabilities, our earthmoving and infrastructure repair capabilities, and most critically, our bridging assets. While it would appear that there is little call for emergency bridging in homeland security, every year while we still had the capability, our bridge unit was deployed to rescue people stranded by floods or bridge failures, and to capture and recover structures and items that were creating safety and navigation hazards. Additionally many states may need to develop Explosive Ordinance Disposal or Urban Search and Rescue capabilities.
8. The need for dedicated resources.
It is critical that in developing America's response to preparing for homeland security we stand ready to provide the resources required by the individual plans of each state. This will not be inexpensive, but it is critical to the success of homeland preparedness.
Based on the critical shortfall in aviation, one should anticipate that many states require additional aviation to accomplish homeland security requirements. The current cost of an 8 helicopter Blackhawk company, critical for rapid transportation of personnel and supplies, search and rescue, medivac operations, command and control, and other transportation support can easily exceed 100 million dollars each.
The cost of equipping a nuclear, chemical, biological decontamination unit is between 7 and 8 million dollars, depending on the equipment mix.
The cost of establishing regional training capabilities to facilitate integration of civil and military operations is estimated 55 million dollars.
9. Homeland Security: a mission continuum not a conversion
From my experience, the most effective way to meet evolving needs is to adapt the proven system currently in place rather than develop a new bureaucracy. By tradition and by law, during normal peacetime operations the National Guard provides first, and usually all, Military Support to Civil Authorities. Processes and procedures are already in place and utilized for the National Guard to respond to the needs of civil authorities, whatever those needs are and however large they are.
The system was tragically exercised by the terrorist attacks of 9-11, and the system worked. Even under the most dire conditions, faced with circumstances no one could envision beforehand, emergency response managers adapted the processes of the current system to bring into place all the required capabilities of the National Guard.
The New York National Guard initially responded to the exigent needs of the situation, then adapted its response to meet the needs identified by civil authority, which it is still doing today. The response of the New York National Guard, assisted by the National Guards of New Jersey, Connecticut, the National Guard Bureau, and, if only in a small way, the California National Guard, was in keeping with the best traditions of the National Guard. The heroic response of all the emergency responders is an affirmation of the proficiency of the emergency response system.
10. The need for early and frequent dedicated coordination
An adage we use in the military is that we fight as we train. More correctly in this context is that those actions and activities that have been pre-coordinated and rehearsed in peace, become routine and fluid during crisis periods. It is absolutely critical to recognize that unlike most military operations, 100% of homeland security operations will be in response to unfriendly acts accomplished in friendly environments.
The effectiveness of the integration of military support into a local situation will be dependent on the extent of pre-coordination and cooperation that exists at the outset. It is for this reason that we in California feel so strongly that in establishing the structure necessary for homeland security, it not be an ad-hoc organization, but rather one that is dedicated to the coordination, liaison, planning and execution of Homeland Security as a primary mission focus.
Additionally, the design of the structure must be flexible enough to accommodate the unique needs of each state. It is unlikely that few other states will face the same breadth of coordination with law enforcement personnel that we have in California. Conversely, it is likely that more rural states will have a greater need for coordination with volunteer firefighting agencies, and all states will face ongoing challenges to balance legal and environmental concerns, coordination challenges, and training shortfalls. Only through ongoing liaison and coordination with local, state, and federal government, first responders, and the general public, can these concerns be best satisfied.
In summary, the National Guard is the logical source of first military responders for homeland security. That need can best be met through limited increases to the National Guard force structure capability, dedicated to this mission. The National Command Authority must establish overall policy, and maintain oversight of the development and training of these new responsibilities. However, each state must develop its own plan, based on federal policy, that best meets the unique needs of each state Success will be achieved through proper organization, equipping, and training those National Guard units to meet critical shortfalls (in accordance with the Governors State Plans) and ensuring connectivity and coordination between the civilian and military first responders.
Homeland Security requirements are an extension of the current Military Support to Civil Authority mission continuum that has been a hallmark of National Guard operations for over 350 years. With proper authorization and resources, your National Guard will accomplish this mission requirement with distinction and with no degradation to the support we have committed to the Army and Air Force.
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.