"Homeland Defense is job number one - we 'Guard' the nation."
--LTG H Steven Blum, Chief, National Guard Bureau
What is it? Few words could more succinctly describe the importance of Homeland Defense and the National Guard's (NG) role in defending our Homeland. America's enemies continually seek new ways to attack America, so we must be ever adaptive in our methods of protection. Natural disasters such as the Tsunami of December 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 add requirements to this mission and test our plans and capabilities.
What has the Army done? Historically, the United States military worked to secure the nation by maintaining a powerful overseas presence and warfighting capability. The 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks showed a very real and emerging threat to our country. Along with these threats, natural disasters such as Katrina test the very fiber of mankind. We must extend our capabilities to deter and defeat aggression both at home and abroad as well as improve our prevention, detection, response, and recovery mechanisms to face national or natural disasters. The National Guard participated in Vigilant Shield 2007, an exercise designed to test the Department of Defense's ability to response to an attack on the homeland. The exercise emphasized the synchronized response of various DOD agencies to a variety of homeland defense scenarios, including cyber attacks, border security breaches, missile defense operations and a nuclear accident.
What continued efforts does the Army have for the future? Future exercises will be conducted under the command and control of NORTCOM utilizing a variety of scenarios to enhance National Guard readiness to support this critical mission. The scenarios used will highlight the importance of interagency coordination and cooperation needed in the initial response phase of a catastrophic event. The goals of future exercises will improve the DOD's capacity to manage a series of extreme events; improve seamless interaction of DOD with interagency response, validate authorities, strategies, plans, policies, procedures, and protocols. The NG will also continue to field equipment, such as the Light Utility Helicopter that will enhance the NG role in Homeland Defense.
Why is this important? The National Guard has traditionally done homeland defense throughout it's history dating back 370 years to the Minutemen in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This is the epitome of homeland defense.
- This topic was taken directly from the 2007 Army Posture Statement.
- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Be Army Strong, and Army Smart. Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communication Guide.