BUCKEYE GUARD, Vol 39, No 3 (May/June 2021)
Continued investment in the National Guard ensures future threats are met
By Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief, National Guard
The National Guard is a lethal, cost-effective, dual-role operational force that provides strategic depth to the Army, Air Force, and Space Force, and responds to crises in our homeland. We are capable of operating in a complex global security environment, and continue to invest in modernization and readiness to prepare for the threats of the future. Today’s National Guard is an integral part of addressing the gravest challenges facing the Joint Force.
Globally, China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and violent extremist organizations continue to present significant threats to U.S. prosperity and security. At home, our adversaries use of cyber-attacks and disinformation threaten our democracy, while the growing frequency and severity of hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and a global pandemic challenge the safety of our citizens and communities.
The year 2020 was unprecedented and historic. National Guard members supported every Combatant Commander around the globe and met every mission here at home. On June 6, 120,000 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were mobilized in support of overseas and domestic missions, one of the highest levels of National Guard support to our nation since World War II.
Given the uncertain future and budget priorities, we expect the Department of Defense (DOD) to rely on the National Guard more, not less. Therefore, we must be ready to execute our three core missions: fighting America’s wars; securing the homeland; and building enduring partnerships that support our nation’s strategic objectives. Continued investment in the National Guard ensures we can meet today’s demands while preserving the capability, capacity and deterrence our nation needs against a broad spectrum of potential future threats.