Chief of the Nationwide Guard Bureau Army Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief Tony L. Whitehead Maintain a Press Briefing

STAFF:  Welcome. Good morning. Thanks all for coming. Apologies for being a couple of minutes late.

At this time, we’re right here with the chief of the Nationwide Guard Bureau, Gen. Dan Hokanson, and senior enlisted advisor to Gen. Hokanson, SEA Tony Whitehead, to debate the Nationwide Guard’s accomplishments in 2022 and its priorities for 2023. I am Lt. Col. Caitlin Brown, Nationwide Guard Bureau Public Affairs, and I will be moderating at this time’s media roundtable.  We solely have till 11:15 at this time, so we would ask that you simply please maintain your questions centered on the subject of Guard priorities.

Gen. Hokanson and SEA Whitehead could have some transient opening feedback, after which we’ll open it up for questions. To make sure we enable time for everybody to take part, we’ll restrict everybody to at least one query and one follow-up. If there’s time remaining on the finish, we are able to open it again up for added questions.

I’ve an inventory of the media becoming a member of us remotely, and I’ll name on you by title. I do know a few of you, however not everybody, so should you’re within the room with us and I name on you, please state your title and outlet earlier than asking your query.

With that, I will flip it over to Gen. Hokanson for his opening remarks.

GENERAL DANIEL R. HOKANSON:  Okay. Thanks, Cait, and good morning, women and gents. Thanks for the chance to supply an replace on the Nationwide Guard and lay out a few of our priorities for the approaching 12 months.

At this time’s Nationwide Guard is prepared, succesful and an important a part of our Nationwide Protection Technique.  Because the fight reserve of the Army and the Air Pressure, our troopers and airmen are constructed to struggle our nation’s wars. It’s a manning, coaching and tools for fight that enables us to additionally serve our communities of their time of want, and should you’re not already conscious, the Nationwide Guard is over 430,000 robust, or 20 % of the Joint Pressure, second solely in measurement to the active-duty Army.

Proper now, greater than 40,000 of our women and men are engaged in missions around the globe, to incorporate over 22,000 serving exterior the US. In 2022, we offered floor and air forces to all of America’s combatant instructions. That included Army formations within the Center East and Europe, world tanker, airlift and fighter plane help and coaching with our allies and companions across the globe.  We supported our first responders and rescued American households when hurricanes made landfall in Florida and Puerto Rico, when tornadoes leveled a seven-mile stretch of japanese Kentucky, when wildfires scorched hundreds of thousands of acres out west and we rescued over 2,400 folks when flash flooding hit Montana and Kentucky. We additionally assisted with election safety through the current midterm elections, and that does not start to cowl the impression we make in our native communities each day.

So what does the long run appear like for our Nationwide Guard? What are our priorities going ahead? They’re actually the identical enduring priorities I established once I grew to become the chief:  folks, readiness, modernization and reform.

I will begin with caring for our folks as a result of each mission is made doable by our folks. Which means beginning with healthcare. Some 60,000 Nationwide Guard troopers and airmen haven’t any medical protection. That is why the Healthcare for Our Troops Act is on my radar. If handed, it would enable each member of the Reserves and Nationwide Guard to enroll in TRICARE Reserve Choose with no charges or copays. That is the appropriate factor to do for our service members and their households, who typically bear undue monetary and medical hardships consequently. Sure, there’s a value to this, however I consider the misplaced readiness prices are greater than the value of that healthcare.  The Healthcare for Our Troops Act is in the end the appropriate factor to do each morally and for the medical readiness of our drive.

Along with premium-free healthcare, our Guardsmen deserve the identical pay and advantages when performing the identical duties as their lively responsibility and Reserve counterparts. Similar to them, we spend weeks, months, even years away from our households, however to be side-by-side performing the very same mission and the identical duties and never be handled the identical is one thing that must be resolved. Responsibility standing reform goes an extended approach to deal with this in fairness, which can be important to our recruiting and retention efforts.

My second precedence, readiness, primarily addresses how quickly we reply to world Joint Pressure necessities and the wants of our governors.  To help in that effort, the Army Nationwide Guard will modernize its brigades and divisions to supply all-domain fight forces divisionally aligned with the Army as quickly as we are able to. This may maintain us seamlessly interoperable with the Army, make rotations extra predictable and provides our Guardsmen extra management alternatives. Most of all, it would guarantee we’re prepared every time our nation calls. As we transfer to a distinct mannequin of warfighting than the previous 20 years, we’ll improve our rotations at fight coaching facilities and participation in practical workout routines as a result of coaching as we struggle is the easiest way to arrange for future conflicts.

Readiness additionally merges with folks with regards to health. Not too long ago, my spouse, Kelly, and I took half in an occasion the place we ran a 5K, a 10K, half marathon and a marathon over 4 consecutive days. Now, I do not anticipate everybody to do this, however beginning in March, we’re instituting a month-to-month health problem for our drive. The challenges will emphasize not solely train, however issues like diet and complete health to encourage our troopers, airmen and their households to give attention to caring for themselves, turning into extra resilient, constructing particular person readiness and hopefully, having enjoyable within the course of.

Readiness additionally means persevering with to construct enduring trusted relationships with companions around the globe by way of our State Partnership Program, or SPP. The Nationwide Guard is at the moment partnered with over 100 international locations, 45 % of the world’s nations, and we anticipate to develop by 30 over the following 10 years. This summer time, we’ll have a good time 30 years of the State Partnership Program, and as evidenced by the connection between California and Ukraine, it’s a program that has paid large dividends on a small funding. Constructing on that relationship, Guard troopers can proceed to coach our Ukrainian counterparts in Germany to allow them to defend their nation in opposition to Russia’s unlawful, unprovoked invasion.

Our subsequent precedence is modernization. We work inside a system of programs, our states, our mother or father providers and our partnerships at each stage. Each one in all these components impacts modernization, personnel, tools, coaching, processes and extra.

We have created 25-year modernization street maps for all our main weapons programs.  We’re in lockstep with the Army on issues like multi-domain operations, long-range precision fires, major battle tanks, air protection, future vertical elevate and extra. To struggle facet by facet because the Army’s fight reserve, we should be interoperable and have the identical tools every time doable.

On the Air Pressure measurement — facet, we’ve 25 fighter squadrons, and we have to maintain all 25 fighter squadrons as a result of our nation wants them. These squadrons want modernized fighters to supply the fight functionality and strategic depth our nation wants to discourage our adversaries.  Just like the Air Pressure, we should exchange legacy fighters with plane that meet future mission necessities.  Likewise with tankers, the KC-46 will proceed to exchange the venerable KC-135. With tactical airlift, the C-130J will put a contemporary face on an previous work horse. To paraphrase Air Pressure Vice Chief of Employees Dave Alvin, the excessive value of sustaining and working these older programs, together with their decreased relevance, makes the Air Pressure and the Air Nationwide Guard much less efficient.

However modernization is barely as highly effective because the group that implements it. That is the impetus behind my fourth precedence, reform. Our staff exists to maximise efficiency and accountability, to help the 54 states, territories and D.C., to make sure our formations stay able to fill their vital position as a part of the joint drive in our nation’s protection. Discovering methods to be extra environment friendly and efficient solely makes us stronger.

As I discussed earlier, I am excited concerning the progress we have made on responsibility standing reform.  We have lowered the statuses throughout the Guard from over 40 to 9. That streamlines our processes, will increase efficiencies and expedites our response occasions, which is why it’s so vital to get it accepted.

A part of our effort to reform is thru innovation, as we search to turn into a extra resilient a part of the joint drive and our communities. For instance, in Could of final 12 months, the Army Corps of Engineers broke floor on a 99-acre photo voltaic power microgrid and storage venture at Joint Forces Coaching Base-Los Alamitos. Los Alamitos is California Nationwide Guard’s major navy coaching facility and emergency response hub in Southern California. The microgrid would offer sufficient energy to maintain the bottom operating for weeks after a serious earthquake or different catastrophe, so we are able to proceed our missions. The venture is anticipated to each improve power resilience and scale back greenhouse fuel emissions.

We’re additionally taking a look at cheaper options to navy development. Final 12 months the Texas Nationwide Guard 3D-printed the primary of its sort navy barracks. At over 5,000 sq. toes, it homes 72 troopers, was printed in 113 days, was prepared for occupancy in 209 days, and at roughly 70 % the price of a standard barracks.

And whereas COVID was troublesome for a lot of, it additionally pressured us to rethink how we work. I established a working group to develop a coverage to seek out the correct mix of distant work and telework alternatives for Nationwide Guard Bureau positions. This initiative has a number of advantages. It improves communication between the bureau and the states. It helps retain extremely expert, proficient staff members and helps us higher handle our expertise. Most of all, it brings us nearer to being the agile, adaptable, built-in drive we should be.

By prioritizing folks, readiness, modernization, and reform, we’ll make sure the Nationwide Guard retains our promise to the American folks, the promise to be All the time Prepared, All the time There.

Now I want to flip it over to my proper hand, Senior Enlisted Advisor, SEA, Tony Whitehead, for his opening remarks, and after that, we sit up for your questions.  Tony?

SENIOR ENLISTED ADVISOR TO THE CHIEF TONY L. WHITEHEAD:  Hey, thanks, Common Hokanson, and good morning. I am SEA Tony Whitehead, the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the Nationwide Guard Bureau, who’s sitting subsequent to me. And as he talked about, we’ve over 430,000 Nationwide Guard troopers and airmen.

My position is to supply a voice for the enlisted drive and symbolize their wants. On this final 12 months, I visited over hundreds and hundreds of troopers, airmen, and their households, and listened to their prime  points in addition to their nice accomplishments.

And once we speak about accomplishments, as you heard the Chief point out, we’re extraordinarily pleased with our Guardsmen for the nice issues they’ve made occur in 2022 by assembly our three core necessities—the federal mission, our state homeland mission, and naturally our state partnership mission, which has been rising and impacting the world for over three years.

His priorities: our folks.  By way of the continued enhancements to enlisted skilled growth, profession enhancement, and household applications, our Guardsmen soar to new heights {of professional} progress and technical competence. These applications had been and are important to our forces’ well being, morale, welfare, which is foundational for a prepared and combating drive.

Readiness—we’re capable of give invaluable time again to our commanders in order that our troopers and airmen can do their coaching in AFSC (Air Pressure Specialty Codes) and MOSs (Navy Occupational Specialty codes), in order that they are often ready, whether or not or not it’s at residence or go down vary, in addition to time for household applications in order that we are able to join again with our communities.

Relating to modernization, we noticed the modifications in weapons programs, tools, and aerial platforms inside our providers. We proceed to supply and allow development in instruments and coaching for our service members wanted to finish their missions and, because the Chief commonly encourages, interoperability.

Talking of reform, NCO (non-commissioned officer) management and growth is a drive multiplier that has confirmed a strategic implication. As we modify insurance policies and procedures, we enabled our leaders to proceed main from the entrance, proving our enlisted corps will all the time be a drive to be reckoned with.

Because the Senior Enlisted Advisor, I want to promote my three initiatives, which is educate, empower, and execute, which fall proper in step with our Chief’s priorities.  We’re regularly enhancing skilled growth for our troops that they are receiving.  We work on service for our members, the data, the power, and the imaginative and prescient to make sure our leaders know precisely what they want and that our leaders have the appropriate folks to do the appropriate job, when the time is required.

Nothing has been put in entrance of us as a Nationwide Guard that we’ve not been capable of accomplish, and we’ll proceed to take action. The schooling and coaching our Guardsmen obtain prepares them prepares them for no matter could come.

Taking a look at 2023, I am unable to categorical how excited we’re concerning the Nationwide Guard and what’s taking place for our drive.  We’re enacting a imaginative and prescient of the Chief’s priorities, which once more are folks, readiness, modernization, and reform, by way of prioritizing funding for soldier and airmen applications, and that features our households.

Since 1636, our Guard professionals have stood the check of time and prevailed.  We proudly serve our nation, our communities, and help our companions.  And with the help that we obtain from our households, our employers, and the neighborhood, we’ll proceed to take action and we’ll all the time be All the time Prepared and All the time There.

So I thanks for that and I thanks on your time. We’re trying ahead to your questions.

STAFF:  Okay, we’ll now open it up for questions. I would like to start out with Tara from the Related Press.

Q:  Hello, thanks each for doing this.  I’ve two questions, two totally different subjects.

First, Ukraine—the Nationwide Guard has Abrams, you’ve maintainers, operators. If requested, can you present coaching to the Ukrainians should you — Abrams tanks are despatched to Ukraine?

GEN. HOKANSON:  You recognize, Tara, I — I am unable to remark particularly on the Abrams tank, I am not concerned in these conversations, however I do know that regardless of the Guard has been requested to do since our preliminary state partnership with Ukraine, going again to 1993, that we’ve met each requirement, in coordination with the Ukrainian people.

Clearly, simply prior of the battle, people had been there in Lviv coaching them. We proceed to coach them at this time on weapons programs and another factor that they need assistance with in Germany. So if requested, we’ll clearly do no matter we’re requested to do.

Q:  Has the Guard offered Abrams coaching earlier than in Europe?

GEN. HOKANSON:  I do not know particularly if we’ve or not.  That is one thing I can undoubtedly get again to you with although for certain.

Q:  Okay. After which the second subject — final week, Navy Occasions and the Texas Tribune reported one of many border guards — or one of many Nationwide Guardsmen assigned to the border had been concerned in a taking pictures. Are you involved that, you realize, these Guard — this responsibility is falling underneath this — the state governor but it surely’s nonetheless reflecting at — upon the Nationwide Guard as a complete?  Have you ever talked to the state governor?  Do you’ve any issues about this?

GEN. HOKANSON:  So Tara, clearly we’re involved with our Guardsmen, it doesn’t matter what responsibility standing that they are in. We’re in shut coordination and communication with the Texas Nationwide Guard management, and I do know there’s at the moment an ongoing investigation associated to that.

However, you realize, we do every little thing we are able to to assist facilitate and talk and perceive precisely what they’re doing, significantly once they’re in a command and management of the governor, however I — the good factor is Tony was down there simply a few weeks in the past, and — and Tony, I would like handy it over to you to — to — what you noticed in individual there.

SEA WHITEHEAD:  Thanks, sir.  I did have a possibility to be there only recently, after which again in November, we — we spent the vacations with them, which was extraordinarily vital for the troopers that had been down there.

What we discovered was that their coaching is unquestionably key to — to the work that they are doing down there.  They’re motivated, they’re skilled, they’re interacting with the native officers and with our federal authorities as wanted.

You’ll be actually, actually impressed with one, the neighborhood help, and two, the extent of morale and welfare they’ve as — as to the job, and they’re extraordinarily enthusiastic about doing the job.

STAFF:  Okay, I’ll go to Zoom.  Haley with CNN, do you’ve a query?

Q:  Hello, I do.  Thanks a lot.  I used to be questioning if we may simply form of get extra of an replace — Common, you talked about the coaching ongoing for Ukrainians taking place now with — with Guard troopers out in Germany. May you simply give us an replace on form of what you are listening to and seeing as that coaching is ongoing?

After which I’ve a follow-up query.

GEN. HOKANSON:  So Haley , I had the chance to really go to them in 2022 in June, as we had been coaching the Ukrainians there, and I’ll inform you it is — it is an awesome effort.  They’re — Ukrainian troopers are very motivated. Clearly, their nation’s been invaded, an unprovoked invasion, and so they’re there making an attempt to defend their — their sovereignty.

And so we take a look at the coaching, we work with them very carefully on the areas that they really feel like they need assistance and we give attention to that. And significantly any — any newer weapons programs or coaching on weapons programs that they are using, we’re actually centered on that.

However I’d inform you it — it is fairly motivating to see the dedication of our Guardsmen and the Ukrainian troopers, working collectively to arrange them to return into their nation.

Q:  Thanks.  And simply to observe up on the query concerning the state of affairs on the border, may you simply form of make clear — I imply, what are their left and proper limits, so to talk?  I imply, what — what are they purported to — you realize, licensed to be doing, not licensed?

I feel that position has form of developed over time, from once they had been purported to be on this kind of operations position and probably not interacting with migrants very a lot to now the state of affairs the place — we simply noticed within the media not too long ago.  So may you simply form of return over what these limits are for them?

GEN. HOKANSON:  SoHaley, I — I imply, I can reply the query associated to the Title 10 forces that we’ve rotationally down on the Southwest Border, and so they’re actually in direct help of CBP (Customs and Border Safety).

With respect to Operation Lone Star and the Texas Nationwide Guard working underneath state lively responsibility, we would actually must refer you to the — the Texas Nationwide Guard and the state of Texas to reply particular questions with — associated to what they’re doing.

STAFF:  Okay, do we’ve another questions?  Jim?

Q:  Chief, only a — if I — if I — if I may, you realize, when Russia invaded Ukraine, all people thought that Russia would stomp throughout these people. That they had basically the identical tools.  The massive distinction was the coaching that they obtained, and particularly, the NCO coaching and the event of the NCO corps. Is that one thing that is nonetheless occurring?  re you continue to engaged on that, whilst they’re within the midst of the battle? And — and the place do you see that going if, in reality, that’s — that’s taking place?

GEN. HOKANSON:  So Jim, it — an awesome level that you simply introduced up. So should you take a look at the — the invasion in 2014, after that, we labored very carefully with the Ukrainians and the California Nationwide Guard to establish these areas the place they felt that they might actually enhance to arrange themselves if something like that occurred once more, which we noticed final 12 months. And one in all that, as you talked about, was NCO growth. And in order our Guard items have rotated by way of since 2015 with the Joint Navy (sic) Coaching Group-Ukraine, we have actually centered on creating their noncommissioned officers, in addition to a pair different areas that they — that they actually wished to work on.

And once you take a look at — on the predictors when — when the battle began, there have been numerous people that stated it will be a matter of days or perhaps weeks. However from our Guardsmen that had skilled the Ukrainians, they stated not so quick, that they actually felt that the coaching, that they’d actually taken it critically, and we noticed that — the impression.  Clearly, the best credit score goes to the Ukrainian folks and their forces for standing up for their very own sovereignty and defending their homeland.  However it was a kind of issues that we have labored on and we proceed to work on with the Ukrainians proper now. The important thing factor is areas that they ask us for help on, and coaching. We actually have to try to focus immediately on that.

Q:  For the senior enlisted chief if — are you — are you — are you studying classes from the Ukrainians?  I imply, clearly, this can be a two-way avenue. Are you — are you studying classes from what they’ve gone by way of?

SEA WHITEHEAD:  We’re. I feel the — a very powerful issues that I would like to return, what the chief was speaking about so far as creating that enlisted corps, or that NCO growth. What you discover is our American forces once they went over — and also you heard me speak about educate, empower and execute. You recognize, the schooling piece was extraordinarily vital, and because the Ukrainian leaders noticed the NCO corps taking the lead on the coaching, empowerment was extraordinarily key to, you realize, a bit — that piece of the puzzle. They skilled them. They felt empowered to really get out and do the coaching themselves, and to copy that coaching over and over.

And they also discovered themselves on the sphere. Clearly, we weren’t there to see it, however we noticed the advantages of it. They had been capable of lead from the entrance on the lowest stage of supervision.  That is the place our NCOs actually are efficient as a result of the issues that our — our commanders empower them to do, they seize it, they educate the forces, they do the overwatch to make sure they’ve the coaching, after which execution takes place. And it was — it is a drive multiplier, and it’s a morale-builder, as properly.

And so for us studying, what we discovered was, one, that we’re doing it proper, and we wish to proceed to show on that as a result of — enhance on that. I am sorry. However what we wish to discover out increasingly from our youngest of enlisted is, how can we higher have helped them to do the job, and likewise get to the opposite facet of that, which is the soldier care. As a result of if they’ve the appropriate state of mind and they’re pondering extra concerning the job, and so they haven’t got to consider household, and so they’re fascinated about morale and welfare of the troopers which can be doing the job, we see an enormous profit and them doing, you realize, successfully executing the mission.

Q:  Are you seeing extra demand from different state partnership items to work on the NCO corps?

GEN. HOKANSON:  You recognize, Jim, we even have.  Once you take a look at our state companions, it truly is a two-way relationship.  We — we prepare with them on areas that they want to, you realize, actually share our experience, and vice versa, we be taught from them, as properly. However after, you realize, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we had a — a number of of our state companions attain out and say, okay, these are areas that we really feel like we must always most likely develop as properly, and we have actually tailor-made our engagement since then to handle these issues that every of those separate international locations have.

STAFF:  Okay, we’ve another questions within the room? Meghann?

Q:  So a handful of those initiatives, the — the healthcare, the responsibility standing, the coaching, even the health problem, appear to be form of about getting the Nationwide Guard on poor — on par with the lively responsibility drive, and I am questioning, as a result of there are such a lot of fewer abroad deployment alternatives and fewer, you realize, kind of integration lockstep between lively responsibility and the Nationwide Guard versus the way it has been through the battle on terror, is there a spot that you simply guys are attempting to fill by way of self-discipline or readiness and even health to maintain Nationwide Guard troops simply as able to go as lively responsibility troops are?

GEN. HOKANSON:  In order that’s a — an awesome query, Meghann, and — and once you take a look at us, we’ve acquired to be prepared for no matter our nation asks us to do. And what we noticed throughout COVID is it was actually no-notice mobilizations giant scale of 47,000 Guardsmen throughout our nation. And what we’re actually making an attempt to give attention to — as a result of the rotations have decreased, we nonetheless have 22,000 deployed at this time, however that is down considerably from the place it was during the last 20 years.  And so what we’re actually making an attempt to do is encourage our Guardsmen and our trainers at each single stage, our management, to make it possible for we do give attention to readiness as a result of we do not know the way a lot time we’ll have to arrange. So every little thing we are able to do on the particular person stage and the small-unit stage to construct that readiness in order that we’re prepared when referred to as, or if it is a large-scale mobilization, we have got that foundational readiness constructed so we’ll lower the quantity of organizational readiness we have to construct. In order that’s — that one thing we’re completely engaged on.

And Tony, I feel you would most likely contact on that, as properly.

SEA WHITEHEAD:  Thanks.  I respect that, sir.

I — I’ll inform you, and thanks for asking that query.  We’re all the time excited as a Nationwide Guard once we hear that, and what’s so spectacular about our troopers and our airmen is when something comes up, they’re like 5 phrases you hearall the time.  “The place do you want me?”  And a part of meaning being prepared at any given time.

And so what you may discover is that health, you realize, all these issues that, you realize — particular person readiness, these are issues that commanders, first sergeants, they’re — they’re instituting all through the formation each single time they meet with their troopers and their airmen.  And so it isn’t simply concerning the coaching weekend the place you may see these items occur; it is a — the communication piece that occurs all through the month. So they do not discover themselves pondering, “Nicely, I’ve acquired to prepare to return again to drill, to prepare for health, to get able to do the — all these different issues to get me able to go downrange.” These are issues which can be institutionalized that our troopers and airmen are doing all through the month.

So it is — it is — it is a formidable factor to look at, that citizen troopers and airmen, they take their position extraordinarily critically. So it isn’t nearly being there for the weekend; it is about all through the month, and it is — it is a profession for them, as properly.

Q:  And by way of the — the healthcare and pay reform, is that with an eye fixed towards retention? Is that to make it possible for people who find themselves serving within the Nationwide Guard nonetheless really feel like they’re getting the advantages of serving within the navy even when they aren’t downrange as a lot as they was once?

GEN. HOKANSON:  So it is actually form of twofold, clearly; that the primary one is, is, you realize, they make a big funding in giving up a big a part of their life to undergo their coaching, after which surrender that one weekend a month, and — and oftentimes, it exceeds that. So we wish to make it possible for every time we name them, they will step on the sphere and play their place.  And if they have the medical care, they will do the preventive care, or in the event that they get injured at any time, that they are able to go and — and medically prepared. In order that’s a part of it.

The opposite factor is, is we wish to make it possible for we do maintain an eye fixed in direction of recruiting and retention, and that could be a huge factor. Once you take a look at the present setting proper now with numerous firms, issues that we historically relied on to encourage people to affix the Guard — instructional advantages, coaching, these kind of issues — many companies now do this as properly due to how troublesome the — the setting is.

And so we have to keep up a correspondence and in tune with that setting to supply these issues that encourage folks to affix our group after which keep in.  One factor that’s good is, as soon as we get people within the group, our retention charges are extraordinarily excessive. However the hot button is to getting them in that entrance door and — and displaying them what we’ve to supply.

STAFF:  Brandy?

Q:  Hello, thanks each for doing this.  First, a follow-up on the 3D-printed navy barracks. Are service members utilizing these proper now?

And, kind of, stepping again, huge image, what are your plans or priorities round 3D printing for innovation within the coming 12 months?

GEN. HOKANSON:  So I consider they’re using the barracks.  I’ve seen photos of it and movies. That they had a information report there in Texas. However to us, once we take a look at the fee financial savings and the time at which, you realize, we will not assist however check out this as a doable answer going ahead. And this was actually the primary check, after which we’re on the lookout for different functions the place we are able to think about that.

And once you take a look at the significance of 3D printing, the power to create simply, say, components of a bit of kit, as a substitute of storing it on the shelf or making an attempt to get it a technique or one other, should you’ve acquired that 3D printer able to making these components, on the level of want, then simply having the ability to make it once you want it, I feel it is a kind of ways in which we can not solely lower your expenses however turn into more practical and extra environment friendly by having that skill to supply that stuff available.

And Tony, you assume — something you are seeing —

SEA WHITEHEAD:  I like that, sir, I do know we simply had a possibility to go to Texas to see that as properly. And we sit up for seeing it, as a result of it is wonderful the — the issues that they are educating now to a few of our latest troopers and airmen which can be coming in underneath STEM (science, expertise, engineering, and math). And so 3D might be going to be the wave of the long run, not simply, as we see it, as constructing the infrastructure, however these which can be coming in that can be a part of the dialog that can assist it transfer ahead.

Q:  After which a follow-up, I am curious about listening to about developments round cybersecurity help requests to the Guard? What did that appear like in 2022? Was it on the rise? And what are you anticipating round cybersecurity help in 2023?

GEN. HOKANSON:  So, curiously, one of many greatest calls for we get is thru our state partnership applications. Plenty of international locations are involved concerning the cyber protection of their nations and their militaries. And so — and lots of occasions we’ll leverage our — our cyber forces to assist prepare them and actually work on the fundamentals and typically advance on how they’d assist defend their programs.

However once you take a look at the — the midterm elections, we had carried out this really going again to 2016, working with the states to make it possible for there was no compromise within the voting system. However throughout the states, the nice factor is, is as a result of our items are there underneath Title 32, or state lively responsibility, they may also help mitigate a few of these assaults.

Examples are in Texas and Louisiana prior to now couple of years, the place they’d malware or ransomware that attacked a few of their programs. And the Guard was capable of are available in, on a state active-duty standing, to assist mitigate the impression to those public establishments. So we’re there serving to wherever in any manner and wherever we are able to, to assist mitigate that. And it additionally offers nice expertise for our Guardsmen, who’re actually leveraging their civilian ability set to make a distinction.

STAFF:  Okay, we’ll return to Zoom.  Steve with, do you’ve a query?

Q:  Yeah, hey, thanks, Common, for — for doing this at this time.  Actual — actual fast, what’s — what does the Guard’s recruiting numbers appear like up to now, with the primary quarter of the fiscal 12 months?

GEN. HOKANSON:  Okay, Tony, do you wish to speak about recruiting?

SEA WHITEHEAD:  Positive, yeah.

To get into the specifics of the numbers, that is one thing that we — we’re engaged on proper now. However what I’ll inform you is that a number of the challenges that we thought we might be going through, you realize, we see them, however we’re getting the appropriate folks into the Nationwide Guard, as we want them.

What I will inform you — and I used to be simply in California this previous weekend with the California Nationwide Guard — what’s most spectacular concerning the new recruits that we’ve coming in is that when folks speak about, you realize, whether or not or not we’ll meet our numbers, I — I say it is only a matter of when, and we’ll do this.

However we’re getting the appropriate younger Individuals which can be being part of our group as a result of they actually do wish to serve. It is only a matter of connecting with them and we’re discovering methods to do this. We’re getting — we’re getting artistic, we’re getting modern, and we discover that when we begin doing that, they begin coming to us. And a number of the younger faces that I noticed, it simply jogged my memory of what I talked to Gen. Hokanson about, is that we’ll — we’ll get to these numbers that we want as a Nationwide Guard and as a DOD, it is only a matter of when.

Q:  And one other fast topical query of the Guard form of coming off the — the GWOT period — has there been any look into increasing its particular operations footprint, whether or not or not it’s increasing SF (safety forces)or getting a — a Ranger ingredient or — or something like that?

GEN. HOKANSON:  So once we take a look at the Particular Operations Forces — and — and I will discuss primarily — respect to the Army Nationwide Guard — the one two Special Forces teams not on lively responsibility are — are within the Nationwide Guard, the nineteenth and twentieth teams.

And proper now, we have no plans to develop these formations however we’re in shut coordination with Particular Operations Command and Common (Bryan) Fenton to establish if there’s progress alternatives, and we’ll definitely be a part of these conversations.

However — however as of at this time, we have not established any particular progress targets over the following 12 months and — and the 12 months after.

STAFF:  Okay, again — again of the room?  Sorry.  Go forward.

Q:  Hello, I am Liz Friden with Fox News. Thanks a lot for doing this.

My first query is on Train Northern Strike. So should you may discuss concerning the state of affairs within the Arctic it is addressing with rising threats from China and Russia?

GEN. HOKANSON:  Yeah. So I will really be there tomorrow. They advised me to carry my chilly climate gear, so I will be prepared for that.  However once you take a look at the — on the Nationwide Guard, clearly we’ve Guard items that function on this setting, not year-round however in Alaska, Maine, Michigan, the dakotas, Minnesota.  So we’re used to working in that setting.

And earlier at this time, I had a gathering with the protection attache from Norway and we’ll be engaged on an train developing the following couple of years to essentially assist be taught from them but in addition leverage what we’ve discovered about working within the Arctic.

What we’ve realized over time is simply the significance of the Arctic.  And many individuals take a look at it — “properly, you may survive in that.”  Nicely, we must do greater than survive.  We would want to have the ability to survive and function in that setting.

And so once we take a look at Northern Strike, it offers us the chance to be in that setting after which find out how we might function — what kind of kit works, what kind of tactic changes that we have to do — as a result of in the end, we’ve to be ready for no matter our nation asks us to do.

And by specializing in the power to function within the Arctic, it would present us only one extra means to hopefully assist deter aggressors from — from testing the US.

Q:  Thanks. And my second query is on readiness.  ith the vaccine mandate reversed a number of weeks in the past, have you ever seen numbers change with recruitment, that kind of factor?  Is it going to assist, going to harm?  What — what do you assume?

GEN. HOKANSON:  I feel it is nonetheless a little bit bit too early to inform. I do know once they — the mandate was rescinded, I despatched a observe out as rapidly as I may to all of the 54 — to ship a observe out to their troopers and airmen who should not absolutely vaccinated to return to drill. That first drill is developing in February. I feel we’ll get a a lot better image there.

After which I do know, throughout the division, they’re taking a look at insurance policies to handle lots of the quite a few questions which can be developing, and we’re a part of that working group and we’ll be concerned with that to hopefully reply as a lot of these questions as we are able to.

Tony, something?

SEA WHITEHEAD:  Simply briefly, sir, thanks. Our — our senior enlisted leaders had been excited concerning the alternative to attach with the troopers and airmen that they are actually ready to listen to some information about. And in order the Chief stated, you realize, it is too quickly to inform however the pleasure concerning the alternative to return again and to serve is excessive.

And so we’re hoping that we see some nice numbers from that but it surely’s a matter of ready to see. However we’re — we’re — we’re impressed with what the — what the leaders making the — the decision to say “hey, you realize, how quickly can we do that” — that was one of many issues they are saying — “hey, how quickly can we get them again into the formation?”, which was thrilling for us to listen to, which implies that they’re staying related with these troopers and people airmen that needed to make that powerful resolution.

Q:  Only a follow-up on that — how — how lengthy is that course of anticipated to take or is it simply actually on an every — individual by individual foundation?

GEN. HOKANSON:  It — yeah, it will be actually depending on the — the coverage selections which can be made. And as I discussed, we’re within the working group, we’re making an attempt to get that — the — actually, these insurance policies established as quickly as doable, however sadly, we simply haven’t got a date proper presently.

STAFF:  Okay, we’ve time for one closing query. I am going to return to Zoom.  We’ve Lauren with Protection One.  Lauren, do you’ve a query? 

Okay, shifting on.  We’ve Kimberly with SIGNAL Magazine.

Q:  Hello.  Sure, thanks on your time this morning.  I wished to ask, Common, what are the challenges of modernizing to have all area fight forces to struggle throughout all domains and, you realize, in multi-domain operations?

After which for SEA Tony Whitehead, what are form of the coaching — coaching wants you are seeing for MDO (multi-domain operations)?  Thanks.

GEN. HOKANSON:  Okay. So Kimberly, once we take a look at multi-domain operations, clearly once we take a look at how our nation will struggle sooner or later, numerous that’s primarily based on modernization and capabilities that we’re bringing to bear.

And once we take a look at the multi-domain, the significance for the Guard is, as a result of we’re 20 % of the Joint Pressure, we’re in a facet — or we’re concerned in nearly every little thing. And so for me, there’s a few issues that I actually try to give attention to — all of our tools’s acquired to be deployable, it is acquired to be sustainable, and it is acquired to be interoperable on the battlefield.

Now, sadly, we will not purchase all of this tools. On the identical time, we will not produce it quick sufficient to area the whole navy at one time. And in order we area programs, the Nationwide Guard can be a part of that course of, but in addition alongside the best way, we have to make it possible for our present programs, till they’re modernized, that they are capable of work together and so they’re interoperable with these.

And in order that’s why we’re very a lot centered on that, to make it possible for regardless of the Nationwide Guard get requested — will get requested to do, that we are able to step on the battlefield and carry out that mission and combine with the whole Joint Pressure.

Yeah, Tony?

SEA WHITEHEAD:  Thanks, sir.  And, so so as to add to the query that you simply requested, Kim —

GEN. HOKANSON:  Kimberly.

SEA WHITEHEAD:  Kimberly, yeah, that is proper.  I made certain I wrote it down. I wish to inform you, one of many — one of many biggest issues about our — our troopers and our airmen is that they’re prepared at any time limit, not simply to go however to coach to go.

You recognize, because the Chief talked about, you realize, our problem is clearly getting the assets and having the instruments there to coach with, and as quickly as they do, they step in. So we work hand in hand with our Division of the Army, Division of the Air Pressure, to make sure that, one, we’ve the — the instruments and tools we want, and two, that we’ve the appropriate enlisted management, our non-commissioned officers, that can go off and they’re going to get the coaching that they want to allow them to come again and prepare our forces.

And so the interoperability is unquestionably there as quickly as we exit to the — so it — when it goes to the multi-domain that you simply had been speaking about, once more, our people are able to go.  Interoperability is extraordinarily vital, and wherever you ship us, we’ll do the coaching in order that we’re able to go, not simply in time however we do the coaching to arrange.

As a matter of reality, in a few weeks, I’ll Alaska — thanks for that, sir —


— to do some — to — to see — I used to be going to say “do some coaching” with our — our troopers in Alaska. And so I am enthusiastic about seeing how they prepare in that setting. And the nice factor is — similar to you had been asking earlier, Meghann, the nice factor is the coaching simply would not occur for coaching week, it occurs all through the month. And typically, the coaching that takes place, it might not even happen on the sphere, it might happen on a pc or once they get collectively in small teams.

However our people, they get the coaching carried out. As quickly as there’s new coaching, they be taught it and so they share that coaching with the lots as a lot as doable — to the — to the items that want the coaching. After which we’re setback and we’re able to go every time we’re referred to as.

STAFF:  That is all we’ve time for at this time.  Thanks for becoming a member of us.  If we didn’t get to you or you’ve extra questions, please be happy to ship these to the Nationwide Guard Bureau media desk, and we’ll observe up these and any taken questions as quickly as doable. Thanks.

GEN. HOKANSON:  Thanks, all people.  Good to see you.

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