DomesticPreparedness met with Lieutenant General H. Steven Blum, Chief, National Guard Bureau. The Chief of the National Guard Bureau provides an update on how Guard units are supporting states in their domestic missions, while also serving as forward-deployed assets for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) in responding to a national incident or event. Also: An in-depth discussion on Vigilant Guard, last month’s series of exercises at the Indiana Guard’s interagency Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC), which simulated the multi-agency response to a 10-kiloton nuclear detonation.
Overseas Deployments – And What is Left for the Governors
The unprecedented demands on today’s National Guard. The current domestic deployments in 25 states. The effect of the Iraq War on equipment levels, and how funding plans are addressing the gaps that have developed.
Updates on Guard Intergovernmental and Interagency Linkages
Fielding of the Joint Force Headquarters-State (JFH-State). How JFH-State coordinates command, control, and communications, and also synchronizes requirements with the National Guard’s state counterparts.
Linkages With NORTHCOM
Joint Force HQs as the forward-deployed command, control, communications, computing, and intelligence (C4I) assets for the U.S. Northern Command.
Updates on the CST and CERF-P Stand-Ups
The status report on the stand-up and certification of the Guard’s WMD Civil Support Teams (CSTs) and the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosive event CERF-P (CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Packages) teams.
Guard Support on the U.S. Southwest Border
Status report on Operation Jump Start, the Guard’s support to the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) directorate, and the implications of both on future working relationships between the Guard and CBP in terms of homeland security.
National Guard Armories and Training
How the Guard is utilizing its 3,200 armories nationwide for training and exercises with first-responder units and emergency-management agencies.
Special Report: A De-brief on Vigilant Guard
DomPrep’s Col. Jonathan Dodson participated in an extended discussion with General Blum on last month’s Vigilant Guard exercises at the Indiana Guard’s interagency Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC). Among the many topics discussed are the improved coordination procedures between the Guard and NORTHCOM that have developed over the past year, the exercising of the Guard’s integrated communications/interoperability, the fielding of Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC) systems, and the integration of National Guard State Compacts with the Emergency Management Assistance Compacts (EMACs) created between individual states.
Read related journal: The First Scenario – A Nuclear Attack!
Lt. General H. Steven Blum
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 state governors and adjutants general. Prior to his current assignment, General Blum served as Chief of Staff, United States Northern Command. General Blum has commanded units at every level, including a Special Forces Operational Detachment, 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 the Army, as Commanding General, Maryland Army National Guard, and as Assistant Division Commander (Support), 29th Infantry Division (Light). He also served as the Commanding General for Multinational Division (North) SFOR-10 in Operation Joint Forge, Bosnia Herzegovina.