Apr 22 2010

Air and Land Forces Subcommittee: Army and Air Force National Guard and Reserve Component Equipment Posture

Opening Statement


Statement of Air and Land Forces Subcommittee Chairman Adam Smith

Hearing on Army and Air Force National Guard

 and Reserve Component Equipment Posture

April 22, 2010

“The Air and Land Forces Subcommittee meets today to receive testimony on the equipment status and requirements of the Army and Air Force National Guard and Reserve Components.


“We welcome our witnesses:  Major General Raymond W. Carpenter, the Acting Deputy Director of the Army National Guard; Lieutenant General Harry M. Wyatt III, Director of the Air National Guard; Lieutenant General Jack C. Stultz, Chief, U.S. Army Reserve; Lieutenant General Charles E. Stenner, Jr., Chief, U.S. Air Force Reserve


“Since September 2001, almost 600,000 selected guardsmen and reservists have deployed in support of combat operations, representing 40 percent of the total selected reserve force of 1.4 million troops.  All 34 Army National Guard combat brigades have deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan.


“Last year Secretary Gates adopted 82 recommendations from the congressionally mandated Commission on the National Guard and Reserves.  One of those recommendations was to equip and resource the Guard and Reserve Component as an ‘operational reserve’ rather than the Cold War model of a ‘strategic reserve.’ Additionally, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau is now a four-star general, giving him equal status among the nation’s senior officers.


“The old, strategic reserve model assumed very few mobilizations and assumed risk with inadequate equipping strategies. The change to an operational reserve status, coincident with a reorganization of the Army, has greatly increased the amount of equipment Guard and Reserve units are required to have.


“While the Department is making improvements and progress in providing adequate funding to equip the National Guard and Reserve Components to enhance its role as an operational reserve, there are a significant number of units that do not have their required equipment.  Sustaining this funding and having the necessary transparency and accountability of the equipment, however continues to be a challenge.


“The purpose of today's hearing is to get a straightforward assessment of the equipment needs of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Army Reserve, and Air Force Reserve.  The witnesses have been asked to clearly lay out what equipment levels their organizations are required to have, and how those requirements have changed, as well as what equipment levels they actually have on hand.


“While most Guard and Reserve units deployed overseas have all the equipment they require, many of those units don't get all that equipment until just before deployment -- and in some cases after they deploy -- which makes training to deploy very difficult.  Aging aircraft continues to be a critical issue for the Air National Guard.  Air National Guard aircraft are on average 28 years old with the KC-135 tankers averaging 48 years old. 


“If the problems of equipment shortages and aging equipment persist, National Guard and Reserve units that – while very dedicated and willing – may simply not be able to adequately respond to domestic emergencies, let alone train for combat.


“Congress has not hesitated in trying to address the equipment readiness shortfalls we have noted in many Guard and Reserve units.  National Guard and Reserve Component procurement from fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year 2010 has totaled approximately $42.1 billion, averaging almost $6.0 billion per year.


“Since 2004, Congress has provided approximately $7.0 billion in a separate, dedicated equipment account entitled the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account.  This funding has enjoyed sustained bipartisan support both on this committee and throughout Congress.  Although substantial progress has been made in terms of adequate funding and reorganization, there is much more to be done.


“And finally, we expect to gain a better understanding to the progress that has been made on improving visibility of tracking equipment requirements through budget preparation and review, appropriations, funding allocation and ultimately in the distribution of new equipment.”





Date Title
4/29/10 Security and Stability in Pakistan: Developments in U.S. Policy and Funding
4/28/10 Air and Land Forces Subcommittee: Air and Mobility Programs
4/27/10 Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee: Closing the Gap: Addressing Critical Rotary Wing Shortfalls for U.S. Special Operations Forces in FY11 and Beyond
4/27/10 Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee: Simplifying Defense Travel: Improving the Defense Travel System for the User
4/27/10 Readiness Subcommittee: FY11 Army Reserve, Army National Guard, and Air National Guard Training and Operations
4/22/10 Current record
4/21/10 Strategic Forces Subcommittee: Space Posture Review and the FY11 National Defense Authorization Budget Request for National Security Space Activities
4/21/10 Military Personnel Subcommittee: Defense Health Program
4/21/10 Markup of H.R. 5013, IMPROVE Acquisition Act of 2010
4/20/10 Military Personnel Subcommittee: Implementation of the Requirement to Provide a Medical Examination Before Separating Members Diagnosed with PTSD or TBI
4/15/10 Military Personnel Subcommittee: Supporting the Reserve Components as an Operational Reserve and Key Reserve Personnel Legislative Initiatives
4/15/10 Strategic Forces Subcommittee: Report of the Ballistic Missile Defense Review and the FY11 National Defense Authorization Budget Request for Missile Defense Programs
4/15/10 The Independent Panel's Assessment of the Quadrennial Defense Review
4/14/10 Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee: FY11 National Defense Authorization Budget Request for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Chemical Biological Defense Program and Counterproliferation Initiatives
4/14/10 The United States' Nuclear Weapons Policy and Force Structure
4/13/10 Military Personnel Subcommittee: DOD Medical Centers of Excellence