Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, Chief to the National Guard Bureau

by John Morton

DomPrep's John Morton met with Lieutenant General H. Steven Blum, Chief, National Guard Bureau

DomPrep has divided the 46 minute interview into eleven segments.

Download full audio to your MP3 player.

Listen to Audio Segment One

Implementation of the National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters-State that enables a governor to coordinate military units in support of first responders. How it is built from the bottom up and serves as an interagency, intergovernmental task force under the incident command system (ICS) and the National Response Plan (NRP) for joint planning and response.

Duration: 6 Minutes 07 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Two

The use of liaison officers (LNOs) for national security special events in 2004 and how the Guard’s organizational footprint for those events serves as the model for coordination and communications in the future.

Duration: 3 Minutes 16 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Three

The U.S. Northern Command’s role in defining and coordinating the National Guard and authorities that transcend national, state, and local jurisdictions. Also, the National Guard as a NorthCom provider of state-level situational awareness.

Duration: 3 Minutes 56 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Four

The linkage between the National Guard’s Joint Intelligence Information Center and NorthCom’s data-fusion operations. Managing the intel interfaces with local law-enforcement agencies and their federal interagency partners.

Duration: 2 Minutes 20 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Five

Managing the human resources challenge of making the best use of Guardsmen who are also first responders. Also, incident planning and the need to avoid the “double counting” of Guardsmen/responders.

Duration 3 Minutes 43 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Six

Communications interoperability with first responders. Also, a discussion of ET 3000, the Guard’s on-site package of satellite communications terminals.

Duration 1 Minute 36 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Seven

National Guard training for first responders - i.e., the Automated Exercise and Assessment System (AEAS), the Guard’s simulation-based training and assessment system, which provides first responders with functional and tabletop exercises such as CBRNE scenarios, command-level exercises, the exercising of ICS and the NRP, and inter-agency communications and jurisdiction procedures and policies. Also, the use of National Guard armories for first-responder training.

Duration 6 Minutes 09 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Eight

The Guard’s CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFPs) and how they replicate the Marine Corps’ Chemical/Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF). An update on the Guard’s WMD (weapons of mass destruction) Civil Support Teams (CSTs).

Duration 4 Minutes 46 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Nine

Priority requirements, including the equipment needed--radios, medical sets, trucks, engineering equipment, etc.--to support the Guard’s domestic mission. Also, an extended discussion on the ACU-1000 and interoperable communications.

Duration 5 Minutes 44 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Ten

General Blum’s emphasis on the necessity for regional interagency/intergovernmental training and exercises.

Duration 4 Minutes 32 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Eleven

How interagency/intergovernmental communications and coordination in a regional response scenario reflects a collaborative approach between and among governors.

Duration 3 Minutes 46 Seconds

Lieutenant General H Steven Blum serves as Chief, National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Va. As Chief, he is the senior uniformed National Guard officer responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, programs and plans affecting more than half a million Army and Air National Guard personnel. Appointed by the President, he serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army, and the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force on all National Guard issues. As NGB Chief, he serves as the Army's and Air Force's official channel of communication with the Governors and Adjutants General. Prior to his current assignment, General Blum served as Chief of Staff, United States Northern Command.

General Blum has commanded at every level to include a Special Forces Operational Detachment-A, a Light Infantry Battalion and an Infantry Brigade, and a Division Support Command. Prior to commanding the 29th Infantry Division (Light), General Blum served as Assistant Adjutant General for Army, Commanding General, Maryland Army National Guard, and Assistant Division Commander (Support), 29th Infantry Division (Light). General Blum served as the Commanding General for Multinational Division (North) SFOR-10 in Operation Joint Forge, Bosnia Herzegovina.