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    Swan: I’m proud of ARNORTH, National Guard relationship

    Swan: I’m proud of ARNORTH, National Guard relationship

    Photo By Johnathon Orrell | Army Lt. Gen. Guy Swan III, the Army North (Fifth Army) commander, speaks at the 2011...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Johnathon Orrell 

    National Guard Bureau

    NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Army North and the National Guard are partners in planning, coordinating and integrating domestic operations, the commander of Army North (Fifth Army) said at the 2011 National Guard Bureau Domestic Operations Conference here Wednesday, Jan 19.

    “This is so critical to do ahead of an event, so that we’re not struggling to sort through these things under fire, during moments of chaos,” Army Lt. Gen. Guy Swan III said.

    “We’re very proud of the relationship … that has been built with your leadership and the leadership at the state level.”

    Swan spoke to that relationship and the role ARNORTH and the National Guard play in domestic response and homeland preparedness in support of Northern Command.

    “We’ve tried very hard over the last year to really go the extra mile to emphasize the team support,” he said. “We fully understand many of the limitations on federal forces in the homeland, but we also understand many of the strengths that can be brought … under the proper authorities.

    “Concepts like the contingency dual-status commander that is being worked hard by all of us, are one of those mechanisms to bring together state forces … and that unity of command and unity of effort we’ve all been after for a long time.

    “What you’ll see and hear – not only from me but the rest of us in NORTHCOM … is really a commitment to making adjutants general, governors and other leaders successful in the most hazardous and disastrous situations we might face here in the homeland.”

    Army North, the National Guard and NORTHCOM can work together to achieve a three-mission-set overlap, he said.

    The first mission: homeland defense.

    “Homeland defense … are those traditional military functions.” he said. “We’re rarely vulnerable to a land attack in the homeland; our threats are really in the maritime or air domains.”

    The second mission: civil support.

    “Our civil support mission – whether it’s in the CBRNE [chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear, and high-yield explosive] arena or the other defense support of civil authority activities and support to law enforcement – is about 60 to 70 percent of the mission for Army North,” Swan said.

    The third mission: security cooperation with Canada and Mexico.

    “Our longstanding partnership with the Canadians is rock solid, and it does not take much of our time to maintain that relationship,” he said.

    “Certainly with the NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command] connection we have that bi-national relationship. Some of you from the northern-tier states also have strong relationships across the border with our Canadian partners.

    “It’s a much different situation … with Mexico these days, and from a theater cooperation perspective, our command – among others in the NORTHCOM family to include some of our Guard partners in a title 10 [active duty] status – is spending much more time with Mexico.

    “That is certainly going up on our priority list, both at the Army North level and the NORTHCOM level.”

    Just like the National Guard, ARNORTH and NORTHCOM’s purpose is to protect the American people and our way of life, he said.

    “One role that we play and take very seriously is the coordination between the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.

    “It’s almost always in support of a federal agency, which in turn may be supporting your state. So – while we have a direct support relationship to your state National Guard, other National Guard leaders around the country – it’s always done through one of these intermediary federal agencies, whether it’s FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the FBI or some other federal agency.

    “That lineage in place is complex from time to time, but we spend a lot of time making sure that that is done correctly.”



    Date Taken: 01.19.2011
    Date Posted: 01.20.2011 18:38
    Story ID: 63895

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