The National Guard in Support of Homeland Security

  • Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. DiNonno

This paper describes the current and future operating environment for the National Guard and what sequestration might mean for a return of tiered readiness. A proposed hybrid model of force generation is described and a recommendation given for mitigating the deleterious effects it may have on the National Guard. The paper then explores emerging risks and other areas within the Department of Homeland Security that should be addressed by a fundamental shift in thinking about the National Guard. This paper first looks to the emerging importance and associated risk of the cyber domain and argues that the National Guard should play a leading role in Homeland Security’s efforts to address cyber security. Second, this paper makes a case for application of geographically appropriate and lower readiness tiered National Guard units to integrate efforts and resources with the Customs and Border Patrol as a part of Homeland Security. Finally, an argument is articulated advocating better integration of the National Guard in FEMA and state readiness plans with a particular focus on rehearsals and exercises.