Leveraging the National Guard for Globally Engaged Operations

  • Lieutenant Colonel Clayton E. Kuetemeyer

The National Guard should serve a more active role supporting Combatant Command theater security cooperation requirements. Active Component force structure is decreasing while the demand for globally engaged operations increases. The National Guard has experience in relationship building from the State Partnership Program, and unique experience in Defense Support to Civil Authorities and consequence management. The National Guard needs to foster improvements to Department of Defense processes that more strongly consider National Guard forces for deployment in support of Combatant Commands’ requirements. The National Guard can achieve this through improvements in three areas: alignment mechanisms that enable GCCs to identify available National Guard forces and their capabilities; coordination between the National Guard Bureau and Combatant Commands; and finally, the requirements, reporting, and demonstration of National Guard readiness.