Army Chief Of Staff: National Guard Unit Training Days Should DoubleScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 10.23.11 AM
With the current downsizing in the size of the Army, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has said he is going to begin leaning much more heavily on Guard units in the months and years ahead.
When asked about possible changes to the number of training days that members of the Army National Guard must participate in yearly, which currently sits at 39, Milley said:
“Maybe we need to look at changing that … maybe I should take some of the Guard and significantly increase the number of training days they train in a given year — maybe 60 to 100 days a year to reduce the response time on the back end when they get alerted and mobilized.”
Between now and 2018, the size of the Army will shrink from 490,000 to 450,000 with 50,000 of them being non-deployable for medical, legal or administrative reasons.
This shrinkage, paired with the growing threat of ISIS, means that National Guard troops will be called on to do more if ground troops are needed in Syria or Iraq.
The U.S. Army’s top officer is planning to more than double the number of required annual training days for some National Guard units to reinforce the service’s shrinking active force.
The service’s current strategy of reducing the active force from 490,000 to 450,000 by 2018 is forcing leaders to depend on the National Guard to assist with potential future contingency missions, according to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
“I am going to lean heavily on the Guard,” Milley told an audience at a Dec. 14 National Security Forum sponsored by the Center for a New American Security.
In November, Milley asked Army Maj. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, the director for the Army National Guard, to assess readiness needs of the Guard.
“We are one Army, so what I need to do is not only maintain the readiness of the regular Army … but I have got to increase the readiness of the National Guard,” he said.
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