Chief of the National Guard Bureau Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley released yesterday a report titled “The National Guard: A Great Value for America” in response to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ effort to find efficiencies throughout the services.
The report highlighted ways the National Guard contributes to Gates’ goal of reducing overhead costs in the fiscal 2012 defense budget by 2 to 3 percent.
According to the report, the Army National Guard has consumed less than 11 percent of the Army’s budget in 2010 while providing almost 40 percent of the Army’s operating force. The Air National Guard has operated on less than 7 percent of the Air Force’s budget during this fiscal year, and it currently comprises about one-third of the Air Force’s capability.
“While America’s military represents a balance between what this country needs to guarantee its security and what we can afford, the National Guard delivers an exceptional value in this security equation,” McKinley said.
He explained the value of the National guard is undeniably relevant and will remain so for generations to come.
“As everyone in the Department of Defense continues to navigate this fiscally constrained environment, it is critical for defense planners and decision-makers to understand the great benefit that the National Guard brings as a dual-use military force,” McKinley said. “And rest assured that the National Guard is working to identify further efficiencies that offer even greater value to America.”
The Guard presence is strongly felt at home as well as overseas, explained officials, with response to disasters across the country and support in international operations.
“Together with the active components, we can fulfill critical overseas commitments that otherwise would simply be impossible to sustain,” McKinley said.