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Saturday, July 27, 2013

CANG: California, Oregon and Washington Governors Request National Guard Stryker Brigade "As a community-based force" #CaArmy #CaNG #CaPublicSafety

West Coast states appeal for National Guard Stryker brigade

Courtesy story
Click photo for screen-resolution imageSome western state governors have requested conversion from tanks to Stryker brigades for their National Guard units. Here, U.S. Army troops with 1st Squadron, Combined Task Force Dragoon, occupy a security position in a Stryker vehicle July 20, 2013 at Zangabad, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Joshua Edwards)
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SACRAMENTO (7/26/13) - The governors and National Guard leaders from California, Oregon and Washington this week sent a letter to national defense leaders, urging them to convert the Army National Guard"s 81st Armored Brigade Combat Team, with units in Washington and California, to a Stryker armored vehicle brigade.
Replacing the unit"s tanks with Stryker vehicles would provide the states" National Guard forces with highly advanced, flexible vehicles suited for deployment during state and regional emergencies.
"As a community-based force, responding to emergencies at home is at the core of the National Guard mission," said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, adjutant general for the California National Guard. "Transitioning to a Stryker brigade would empower us to respond more effectively during domestic emergencies, both natural and man-made."
As soldiers return from combat tours overseas, the Department of Defense (DoD) is also bringing home vehicles and equipment that have yet to be assigned to military installations.
In their letter, the governors and adjutants general emphasized that assigning returning Strykers to the National Guard would eliminate the need for the active duty Army to store and maintain the vehicles as well as provide for easier access for homeland defense and overseas wartime missions - all at a lower cost to taxpayers.
A recent two-year DoD report to Congress stressed the remarkable cost-effectiveness in utilizing the National Guard and Reserves as opposed to their active duty counterparts in carrying out national security operations.
"The 81st currently uses old tanks that are too heavy to use on our roads during emergencies," said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. "By converting the 81st to a Stryker brigade, and supplying this unit with newer, more modern equipment, we achieve a double win. Our National Guards would have an enhanced ability to respond to local and regional emergencies like floods, fires and earthquakes. Additionally, a conversion would position this equipment closer to the Asia-Pacific Region, where the U.S. military is placing a heavier focus."
At present, there is only one Stryker brigade in the National Guard, located in Pennsylvania.
Converting the 81st to a Stryker mission would allow for close alignment with the Stryker Brigade Center of Excellence at Washington"s Joint Base Lewis-McChord, California"s National Training Center at Fort Irwin and Oregon"s Umatilla/Boardman Training Complex.
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