Colonel Joe Hargett, the Chief of Staff for the Army National Guard, attended the NGAUS Board of Directors meeting in Washington, DC. Colonel Hargett is the Area IV representative. The Area IV region consists of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
Some of the noteworthy topics discussed are listed below in bullet form from his perspective. Colonel Hargett will be available at the NGAMS Conference to further discuss these items.
1) Expect the Presidential Budget to be published this week with $576 billion in the base budget and $174 billion in OCO.
2) NGAUS priorities are continuing to be worked which include benefits parity, including education, retirements, and healthcare areas. NGAUS continues to update these on their website at www.ngaus.org.
3) Recently the issues surrounding the Title 32 Reform initiatives have been contentious in the DoD. Generically, the topics include implications of the proposed modifications of the Insurrection Act which seem to replace the authorities of the Governors/Adjutants Generals with the authorities of Secretary of Defense in some cases. This topic is being worked by the Adjutant Generals Association of the US (AGAUS). As currently written, the changes would limit T32 authorities concerning deployment of the National Guard of the States where Title 10 authority/approvals are not required. The implications are interpreted as overreach of authority by Title 10 leadership. Examples of the concerns are as broad as issues regarding domestic response authority through the management of individual mobilization authority- (TAG approval of an individual title 10 order), and many authorities in between. This legislative action is interpreted as a slow, but steady degradation of the Governor/Adjutant General authorities when considered with other legislation passed in recent years, such as the Title 5 workforce directives.
4) Modernization continues to lead many conversations. However, programs of record are likely to be the “bill payers” even if the programs are POM’ed for the full five year cycles. As an example, if the Army’s Medium lift helicopter (Blackhawk) is currently the POM’ed program of record/end item, the budget for the future of the Medium lift platform will like degrade any modernization of the current end item. This thought process may make sense from a program/budget cycle standpoint, it does not consider the implications of maintenance/stabilization and fielding plans. I can discuss further if required.
5) NGREA discussion. NGB relies on unit set fielding to field major combat systems, such as M1, Blackhawks, etc. For the states, the ideal place to use NGREA funding is the funding for MTOE shortfalls in the enabler units. Historically, MS has used the NGREA funding to fund none MTOE or CTA authorized items
6) Gen Lengyel, LTG Hokanson, LTG Kadavy, and Maj Gen Nordhuas briefed late Saturday afternoon. Below are the highlights:
a) ANG expanding Recruiters
b) Continue to support recap and modernization programs of the C130H/J models
c) PFOS/PFOA/DERA funds- currently the funding process is unclear, however the intent is to investigate and mitigate. Discussion- the ANG will likely be a proportional bill payer, i.e. if a responsible agency is identified, the cost will be shared by the ANG if appropriate responsibility is determined, i.e. 20% of the bill is an ANG bill. More to follow.
d) LTG Kadavy discussed five priorities
i) Full time support – currently funded at 64% of 80% requirement.
ii) Accessions – continue to support efforts, i.e. Adding 1000 recruiters to the ARNG
iii) CTC Funding
iv) MILCON parity
v) Modernization – continue to support equipment parity.
Here are some of my, Colonel Joe Hargett, opinions and summary of themes after the meeting and many discussions by various senior leaders
1) Concurrent and Balanced modernization may replace Concurrent and Proportional Modernization. Theory is those units fighting first, will be fielded first. Our NGB leadership should proceed cautiously with the methodology.
2) Southwest Board Mission will continue into the future.
3) Space Force Concept – Anticipate that the Space Force Concept will likely develop into a Combatant Command versus another Service Component of the “Space Force”. This concept will likely develop on par with other geographic combatant commands; EUCOM, SOUTHCOM, CENTCOM, etc.