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National Guard Counterdrug (CD) Program

What is it?
Since 1989, the National Guard, working with law enforcement agencies (LEA) and community based organizations (CBOs), has performed interdiction and anti-drug activities in the fight against illicit drugs. Approximately 2,500 Soldiers and Airmen in the 50 states and U.S. territories support more than 5,000 LEAs at the local, state, and federal levels preventing illicit drugs from being imported, manufactured, and distributed.

What has the Army done?
The program is executed by the governors of each of the 50 states and U.S. territories and supports the strategic goals of the White House Office National Drug Control Policy. In FY08, approximately 2,400 National Guard personnel in Title 32 status provided counterdrug support to LEAs and seized drugs with an estimated street value of $28.6 Billion. Recent National Guard CD Program accomplishments include:

  • Drug Demand Reduction: Serving as mentors, Soldiers and Airmen teach a variety of anti-drug and positive decision making programs including the primary Stay on Track curriculum. During the 2007-08 school year, Stay on Track reached more than 115,200 middle-school students. Part of the counterdrug program includes assisting LEAs by sharing information and providing additional assets. The National Guard continues to expand training programs at CD schools and, working with the Department of Defense and other interagency partners, produces actionable intelligence that supports the homeland defense and security missions.

  • Counterdrug Aviation Support: The National Guard supports this effort with both rotary and fixed wing aircraft. Currently, 144 Army National Guard OH-58A helicopters are assigned to CD missions. Of these, 116 are fully outfitted and specially equipped for CD missions. The Air National Guard provides 11 specially equipped RC-26B fixed wing aircraft in support of the CD mission. Most recently, both platforms supported Operation Jump Start along the Southwest border and other overseas missions. During FY08, CD aviation assets flew nearly 29,000 hours supporting federal, state, and local law enforcement CD missions. Also in FY08, the National Guard support efforts led to 68,113 arrests and assisted law enforcement in seizing hundreds of thousands of pounds of drugs; nearly 35,000 weapons; almost 36,000 vehicles; more than $20 Million in property; and nearly $250 Million in cash.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The program will continue to focus on drug demand reduction, information sharing, and training. Reenergizing its support with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and forming new partnerships with organizations such as the National Foundation of Women Legislators demonstrates its increased emphasis on community involvement. Improved information sharing continues to move forward ensuring the National Guard CD programs remain a critical force-multiplier. The training component is also expanding. Annually, the four National Guard CD locations across the United States train more than 73,000 military, law enforcement, and CBO members. Additionally, three of the courses offer additional skill identifier (Army) and special experience identifier (Air Force) qualifications.

For the foreseeable future the National Guard expects to provide aviation support, both overseas and stateside. Several of the RC-26B aircraft will continue to support combatant commanders while the remaining aircraft undergo software and equipment modifications to provide better support at home.

Why is this important to the Army?
As the mission continues to expand, the nexus between drugs and terrorism becomes more evident. The unique training and specialized equipment of the National Guard CD program, and the corresponding capabilities that they provide, make the National Guard CD program an increasingly important part of the overall homeland defense and security missions.

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