July 1st, 2021
IN THIS EDITION:
Are You Or Someone You Know Looking For A Meaningful Paid Internship? NCNGA
Russia and China Could Team Up to Challenge US Space Superiority, Experts Say AFMag
Call to the EANGUS 50th Anniversary Conference EANGUS
Help Tell the Story of the “Heroes of Old Hickory” with a donation as small as $10 NCNGA
Contact Congress And Encourage Them To Act on Zero-Cost TRICARE NCNGA
The 2021 National Guard Almanac & Education Guide EANGUS
July 1st — Today in Guard History National Guard
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Sanctions are crushing Russia’s efforts to counter American space superiority, but analysts have a rising concern that Russian President Vladimir Putin may link up with China’s wealth to develop the weapons that could stop American war fighters in their tracks.
Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond has warned that America’s adversaries are already operating as if space was a war fighting domain, exhibiting ground and space-based weapons capabilities that can target vulnerable American satellites. House Armed Services Committee chairman Adam Smith admitted to Air Force Magazine on June 29 that satellite survivability and redundancy were his priorities for fending off adversaries, but a closer look at the budget was necessary.
“I don’t think ‘catch-up,’ is the right word,” Smith said when asked about American space weapons compared to adversaries in a Defense Writers Group discussion. “We’re not behind in this area.”
The Washington state Democrat said his priorities were cost-effective launch and the survivability of satellites and command-and-control systems.
The dropping cost of launch in America’s domestic capability has had the dual effect of robbing Russia of needed dollars to support its military space program, retired Col. Douglas Loverro said at a June 28 Center for Strategic and International Studies forum on Russia’s evolving military capabilities in space.
Loverro, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy from 2013 to 2017, also described Russia’s July 2020 test of a co-orbital satellite that aligned with an American spy satellite and fired a projectile in space.
“They view this as a decisive factor,” Loverro said. “Certainly, they are building the means, as best we can tell, to go ahead and make sure that they can eliminate U.S. space capabilities if war does occur.”
The Pentagon is nearing a decision on whether it should create a Space Force National Guard to supplement the newest military branch.
During a House Armed Services Committee hearing last week, top leadership from the Air Force and Space Force said they have completed a report required by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act detailing whether and how to best organize Guard and Reserve components within the Space Force. The report was originally due to Congress in March.
“We’ve done the report; it’s complete. It’s all through coordination; it’s waiting for a final briefing,” Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond told lawmakers.
Acting Air Force Secretary John Roth added that the report is with leadership within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and soon will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget before congressional committees receive the final study.
“We’ve been operating with the Guard for 25 years. It provides critical capability, both people-wise and equipment-wise,” Raymond said. “We can’t do our job without them today, and we can’t do our job in the future without them.”
Areport has emerged that major Russian naval maneuvers were underway in the Pacific when U.S. Air Force F-22A Raptor stealth fighters were scrambled from their base in Hawaii over the weekend, an incident you can read more about in The War Zone’s initial reporting. The Raptors were supposedly launched to investigate unspecified Russian long-range aircraft, part of a group of naval vessels and aircraft that were participating in a large-scale exercise around 300 to 500 miles west of the Hawaiian islands. The incident came immediately ahead of today’s summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.
The pair of F-22s was launched this past Sunday on an alert scramble out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at around 4:00 PM local time. They were joined by a third Raptor soon after and also had refueling support from a KC-135 tanker during their mission. The reported Russian aircraft that prompted all of this did not enter the Hawaiian Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) at any point and were not intercepted, according to CBS News, which reported this additional information.
The 50th General Conference of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS) will convene at the Albuquerque Convention Center, 401 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday, August 8, 2021 and will run through August 11, 2021.
Please refer to the “Call to the Conference” memo which contains detailed information on Lodging, Registration, Travel/Ground Transportation, and Attire. It also includes information on this year’s Elections, Conference Deadlines, Committee Assignments, and the Host State Golf Tournament and Motorcycle Ride. The most up-to-date information can be found on the EANGUS Conference website at eangusconference.org. A complete agenda, to include meeting times and information on other conference events, will be published and continuously updated on the website.
We continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic numbers and restrictions in New Mexico and will ensure necessary measures are taken to protect the health and well-being of all EANGUS Conference attendees. Specific precautions and other measures (such as mask requirements) will be posted on the conference website as needed and updated as we get closer to the conference.
Please join us for our 50th Anniversary Conference — this year’s conference will include special recognition of our history and commemorative activities that our members, leaders, and guests won’t want to miss. I look forward to seeing you in New Mexico – the “Land of Enchantment!”
KAREN M. CRAIG
CSM, USA, Retired
The 30th Infantry Division, also known colloquially as the “Heroes of Old Hickory,” received the Presidential Unit
Citation last year for their heroic role in the Battle of Mortain, France during World War II. The Division was composed of National Guardsmen from all over the South, including North Carolina. Their story is one of courage and
honor and, as such, deserves to be broadcast to a wide audience. That is why we are asking for your help in supporting the production costs of the Heroes of Old Hickory documentary film. The production team is hoping to secure the funds necessary to air this documentary on PBS by Veteran’s Day of this year. Any amount can help, and if the goal amount is not met the collected money will go direct to the 30th Infantry Division. For more information and to donate, please visit our website at https://www.ncnga.org/OldHickory.php.
Support H.R.3512 to expand Zero-Cost TRICARE Reserve Select to all members of the Reserve Component
NGAUS strongly supports H.R. 3512, the Healthcare for our Troops Act. This legislation would provide access to zero-cost TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) and dental coverage to Reserve Component (RC) servicemembers. Additionally, this legislation expands TRS eligibility to RC servicemembers currently working for the federal government in their civilian capacity.
H.R. 3512 was introduced by Reps. Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Trent Kelly (MS-01). H.R. 3512 is originally co-sponsored by Reps. Tim Ryan (OH-13), Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and Marc Veasey (TX-33).
Servicemembers are required to meet medical deployability requirements. An estimated 130,000 Guardsmen and Reservists do not have health insurance under the current disjointed system of third-party health contractors and Periodic Health Assessments (PHAs), which greatly impacts the Reserve Component’s medical readiness. Inconsistent healthcare coverage for members of the Reserve Component makes meeting these requirements difficult to achieve.
H.R. 3512 Healthcare for our Troops Act ensures servicemembers meet the medical standards required of a deployable force at no cost to them and their families. Additionally, this bill provides coverage for dental care, another common deployablitiy issue experienced by the Reserve Component. These changes would also provide the Department of Defense (DoD) with a powerful recruiting and retention tool, as well as a significant employer incentive to retain talented individuals in gainful civilian employment.
Under current law, National Guard and Reserve servicemembers who are federal employees in their civilian capacity are ineligible to enroll in TRS. This creates confusion in coordinating benefits for servicemembers and their families and prevents servicemembers from establishing continuity of care and treatment as they deploy or transition in or out of the federal government. H.R. 3512 strikes the language that disallows servicemembers from accessing TRS simply due to working for the federal government in their civilian capacity.
This year’s publication includes two sections:
- An Education Section includes information about scholarship opportunities and other resources available to National Guard members.
- The Almanac Section highlights key National Guard leaders for each of the 54 States, Territories, and the District of Columbia as well as their State Association contact information and State benefits.
We thank Grantham University for their sponsorship of this publication. We are proud to continue our partnership with Grantham and have highlighted information in the Education Section regarding their educational programs and the two scholarships they are offering this year.
We are also extremely grateful for the continued partnership and scholarships offered to our EANGUS members, their spouse, and dependent children by Colorado Technical Institute, Grand Canyon University, and the University of Phoenix. Along with Grantham University, these institutions provide a total of eight full-tuition scholarships, which are a significant benefit to those selected as the recipients each year. We are also appreciative of the additional funding provided for scholarships at Excelsior College, and the scholarship funds provided by USAA, AFBA, and the CSM Advisory Council which can be used by the recipient at the college or university of their choice.
On behalf of the EANGUS Executive Council, I trust that you will find this information of value, and we wish the best to our members pursuing their dreams of a higher education.
Karen M. Craig
CSM, USA, Retired
July 1st — Today in Guard History National Guard
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – The largest land battle ever fought in North America, involving about 90,000 Union and 75,000 Confederate troops, begins by accident when a column of southerners encounters Union cavalry while looking for a supply of shoes. On this first day the Confederates push the Union defenders out of the town but stop short of routing them off the field. Among the units engaged is the 2nd Mississippi Volunteer Infantry against elements of the famous “Iron Brigade” (often referred to as the “black hats” due to the distinctive Hardee hats most of the men wore). The brigade was composed of the 2nd, 6th, 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana and 24th Michigan volunteer infantry regiments. In a sharp engagement in the woods near the McPherson’s Farm, nearly half of the 2nd Wisconsin are killed, wounded or captured. By nightfall the northerners take up key positions on a series of hills south of the town. The stage is set for what proved to be the climatic engagement of the war. The lineage of the Iron Brigade is carried today jointly by the 127th and 128th Infantry regiments, Wisconsin National Guard.
The Weekly Guardsman