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NGAUS Legislative Alert; 15 February 2017

NGAUS strongly supports S. 307, the Department of Defense Emergency Response Capabilities Database Enhancement Act of 2017, introduced on February 7 by Senators Christopher Coons of Delaware, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

The bill would update current law and require the Department of Defense to track cyber capabilities important to national security and domestic response found in the National Guard and Reserve forces within one year. Additionally, S. 307 would allow the Department of Defense to update or utilize existing systems to track the capabilities if it’s faster and more cost effective.

A 2016 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that “National Guard units have developed capabilities that could be used, if requested and approved, to support civil authorities in a cyber-incident; however, the Department of Defense does not have visibility of all National Guard units’ capabilities for this support.” GAO recommended that it was crucial for the Secretary of Defense to maintain a database to identify the cyber capabilities in the National Guard to support civil authorities in a cyber-incident.

The Coons-Ernst-Fischer-Gillibrand bill aims to implement GAO’s recommendations and further utilize the skills and training of National Guard cyber units in responding to future cyber incidents. The passage of this crucially important bill will ensure increased coordination between the Department of Defense and the National Guard to protect and respond to a myriad of cyber threats facing our nation. Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our Armed Forces.

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Matt Pincus
(202) 408-5897
matt.pincus@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

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NGAUS Call to Action; 18 November 2016

NGAUS strongly supports S. 3476 and H.R. 6377, the National Guard Bonus Repayment & Financial Relief Act, introduced on November 17th in the Senate by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and in the House of Representatives by Representative Adam Schiff of California’s 28th Congressional District.  Contact your Senators and Members of Congress:  Ask them to support and co-sponsor the National Guard Bonus & Repayment Financial Relief Act.

This legislation contains provisions that will waive efforts of the Department of Defense (DoD) to reclaim bonuses that were improperly awarded to members of the Army National Guard from 2004-2010.  Upon reviewing all bonuses that were awarded within that time period, the bill will require the Secretary of the Army to:

  • Waive repayment of bonuses for affected service members who completed their service requirements and acted in good faith.
  • Reimburse service members who repaid bonuses and/or interest to the Department of Defense.
  • In cases where service members fell into financial hardship due to the repayment of bonuses, the Department of Defense will offer some financial assistance to those members.
  • Submit a report to Congress detailing the number of bonuses, incentive pays, or similar benefits identified through the review as being provided erroneously; the number of members of the Army National Guard against whom the Department of Defense proceeded with recoupment for erroneous provision, set forth by basis for recoupment and amount recouped; and the number of members of the Army National Guard for whom the Department waived recoupment for erroneous provision, set forth by basis of waiver, amount waived, and amount repaid to members whose waiver occurred after recoupment by the Department.

Original co-sponsors of the Senate bill include Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

Original co-sponsors of the House bill include Representatives Ami Bera (D-Calif.), Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Mike Honda (D-Calif.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Ed Royce (D-Calif.), Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Norma Torres (D-Calif.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), John Delaney (D-Md.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Gwen Graham (D-Fla.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.).

Take action now and please forward this message to your family, friends, and co-workers to ask them to take action, too.  Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,
Gus Hargett
Major General (Ret.)
President, NGAUS
Take Action: Click here

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NGAUS Call to Action; 21 October 2016

NGAUS strongly supports S. 3445, the USERRA Improvement Act, introduced by Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut on September 28th.  This bill contains provisions that will enhance the enforcement of employment and reemployment rights of uniformed service members.  Contact your Senators:  Ask them to support and co-sponsor the USERRA Improvement Act.

TAKE ACTION

In particular, the USERRA Improvement Act builds on current law and offers more protections for uniformed service members whose service to our country may affect their civilian employment by:

  • Expanding the right of service members to bring legal action against a State or private employer.
  • Clearly indicating that employers are responsible for identifying proper reemployment positions.
  • Expanding the authority of the Attorney General to independently investigate and file lawsuits for violations of USERRA.
  • Allowing the United States to serve as a plaintiff in all lawsuits filed by the Attorney General.

The bill also contains language that would allow the Attorney General to issue civil investigative demands in USERRA investigations.  Use of that authority will compel those being investigated to produce any documentary material relevant to that investigation before a civil action is undertaken in State or Federal court.

Take action now and please forward this message to your family, friends, and co-workers to ask them to take action, too.  Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Gus Hargett
Major General (Ret.)
President, NGAUS

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/hsvieqFlLjZRqM0_JzsVSg

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NGAUS Call to Action; 27 July 2016

NGAUS strongly supports S.2921, The Veterans First Act, passed by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on May 16th.  This bill contains many provisions that will enhance the quality of service and care of our nations veterans. Contact your senators:  Ask them to support bringing the Veterans First Act for a vote on the Senate floor before the 114th Congress ends.

In particular, the Veterans First Act contains a provision that would authorize veteran status under Title 38 for National Guard and Reserve members of the Armed Forces who are entitled to a non-regular retirement under Chapter 1223 of 10 USC, but were never called to Title 10 active service other than for training purposes during their careers.

The bill also contains language that would provide Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to members of the Guard and Reserve who deploy under Title 10 12304(b).  Expanded use of pre-planned 12304(b) activations this year and in the future requires changes in law that provide equal benefits for the National Guard and Reserve who serve under these Title 10 tours. The Department of Defense supports adding this benefit.

Your support for this bill this year will affect thousands of members of the National Guard both serving and retired. Thank you for your support of the Armed Services and our National Guard.

Sincerely,
Gus Hargett
Major General, USA (Ret.)
President, NGAUS

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

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NGAI Update; 21 June 2016

NGAI Members and Friends,With the month of May and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 behind us, we shift to our lineup of summer activities. Check the www.NGAI.net/events page for all the summer events.We start off this coming weekend with the 17th Annual NGAI Car Show & Anything on Wheels. For a preview of the Car Show, tune in to WISH-TV8 at 0900 tomorrow, Wednesday, for IndyStyle.CLICK HERE for complete information and online registration for the 17th Annual NGAI Car Show this saturday, June 25, from 9am to 3pm. 2016 NGAI Car Show poster with registration.The weather looks promising, so consider getting your wheels out and entering the show this year. Even if you don’t want to enter a car or bike, plan to come down just for the festivities. Enjoy some beautiful vintage or late model cars and bikes along with food, music and prizes. Sam’s Upper Crust food truck will be on site again this year along with DJ Michael Fritchie providing the music.  Pre-registration is open through Thursday, June 23, and the first 100 pre-registered receive a free 17th Annual Car Show shirt.Hoosier Veteran law takes effect July 1! Governor Michael R. Pence signed a Proclamation declaring July 1-8, 2016 as Hoosier Veterans Week. 2016 Hoosier Veteran Proclamation

State Representative Peggy Mayfield and State Senator Jim Banks worked hard to help change Indiana Code for recognition of our Guard and Reserve members that serve their state and country, but don’t meet the federal definition of veteran. Beginning July 1, anyone completing their specialty training and serving honorably will be honored as Hoosier Veteran and enjoy any state benefit formerly enjoyed only by federally defined veterans. The benefit does not apply for any program requiring a VA disability rating or other specific federally defined service.
EANGUS New Orleans August 21-24

For complete information about the EANGUS conference, CLICK HERE.

6th Annual Bike Ride/Cruise the Circle August 27

Download the flyer (PDF) here and watch the NGAI website for more information and online registration.
NGAUS Baltimore September 9-12

Get Information about the 2016 NGAUS Conference – September 9-12, 2016, Baltimore, MD. CLICK HERE.

Registration for INDIANA members is now open online. CLICK TO REGISTER.

Membership

For those units still working their membership for 2016, please, if at all possible, have your final rosters turned in to the NGAI office this week. Thanks for your continued support and I hope to see you at one of this summer’s events.

Mike Sturm

Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana

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NGAUS Call to Action; 1 June 2016

NGAUS supports the National Guard and Reserve Entrepreneurship Support Act to improve access to Small Business Administration (SBA) benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserves.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., would extend loan-assistance programs beyond periods of military conflict. The legislation also directs the SBA to identify programs pertaining to the Guard and Reserves and conduct more effective outreach, particularly around times of deployment.

Write your senators to help small business owners in uniform and their families. Let’s keep that invaluable entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in our ranks!

Sincerely,
MG (Ret) Gus Hargett
NGAUS President

NGAUS Point of Contact:
Grace Washbourne
202-408-5893
grace.washbourne@ngaus.org

Take Action: Click here

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NGAUS Legislative Alert; 11 April 2016

Call to Action

Contact your representatives and senators. Ask them to support the Army’s unfunded requirement request to authorize and appropriate 36 additional UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Total Army. This includes 15 for the Army National Guard in the fiscal year 2017 defense bills.

Take Action

The Black Hawk’s mission flexibility makes it the Army Guard’s primary rotary-wing asset to respond to state emergencies and support overseas contingency operations.

The Army Guard operates 849 of the service’s 2,135 Black Hawks. Nearly 300 Army Guard Black Hawks are old UH-60A models. Many are more than 25-years old and are nearing the end of their useful lives. The UH-60A is also significantly more expensive to operate than the UH-60L and UH-60M models.

The Army is modernizing the Black Hawk fleet by fielding new UH/HH-60M helicopters and by recapitalizing UH-60A models to the UH-60L model. An initiative is also underway to develop a digital cockpit for the UH-60L and re-designate the aircraft as the UH-60V.

Budget Control Act cuts have already reduced UH-60M Black Hawk production rates by more than 55 percent, from more than 85 aircraft per year to fewer than 40. These reductions will further delay modernization of the Army Guard’s Black Hawk fleet. The Army Guard will not retire its last UH-60A until 2025, while the regular Army will retire its last UH-60A in 2020.

The Army National Guard must remain mission relevant, ready to deploy, and ready to respond to emergencies at home. The fielding of new UH-60Ms to Army Guard units needs to accelerate to close the gap. Thank you for your support.

Take action now, and then forward this message to your family, friends and co-workers to ask them to take action too.

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EANGUS Call to Action 2016-03; 5 April 2016

Please help EANGUS support the Veterans Justice Outreach Act of 2015. S. 2120 would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to carry out a program to support veterans in contact with the criminal justice system by discouraging unnecessary criminalization of mental illness and other nonviolent crimes. The program would be carried out in partnership with local law enforcement, judicial, and community-based treatment and legal assistance organizations. If signed into law, the VA would establish coordinators to provide program outreach.

S. 2120 has eleven cosponsors. Please contact your Senator and request that they support this important legislation.
Take Action: Click here

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NGAI Conference Update; 5 March 2016

NGAI Members and Friends,
Just a reminder. We are only seven weeks out from our Annual NGAI Conference and Professional Development Symposium. This year’s guest speaker is Lt. Gen Joe Lengyel, Vice Chief, NGB. JFHQ is the co-host this year and the theme will be year of the “Hoosier Veteran” which happens to coincide with Indiana’s bicentennial celebration.

Registration is open on line at www.NGAI.net. The hotel discount rate of $109 is only guaranteed through 31 March and only as rooms remain available, so get your reservation soon. Reservations may be made at www.frenchlick.com, group code 0416NGA or by calling 888-936-9360.

For Friday, the Donald Ross Golf course is in excellent condition following last year’s PGA visits. And we have another great small arms event (with shotgun jungle course) for those that may be looking forward to an option to golf. The Resolutions meeting will be at 1600 followed by the Exhibitor’s Reception which is open to all registered attendees from 1700-1900. Be sure to engage our exhibitors and learn about their products and services. Following the reception, the 81st Troop Command has volunteered to lead this year’s hospitality effort.

Saturday starts with the 5k run at 0630. The General Session will start with the annual Roll Call of MACOMs followed by briefs by Lt. Gen Lengyel on the many current issues to include the latest from Washington on implementation of the Commission on the Future of the Army. Then our new Adjutant General’s focus on his top goals, along with updates from EANGUS and NGAUS, and a celebration of House Bill 1313 designation of “Hoosier Veteran.” NGAI has had some significant achievements with this year’s legislative session. Our spouse and guests will depart following the opening session to enjoy brunch at West Baden, followed by guest speakers with a surprise twist. The Annual Business Meeting will be conducted following lunch. The Saturday evening State Dinner will be a formal event with Lt. Gen Lengyel as our guest of honor. And, as usual, we will wrap up the evening with another round of visits to the hospitality rooms.

We have an excellent slate of candidates available this year for election to the Board of Directors. Be sure to review the candidates, then use the on-line voting system if possible to vote, https://www.ngai.net/vote/. Hard copy ballots will also be available at French Lick. Voting closes at 10:00 Saturday morning.

Fellowships are available through NGAI for junior enlisted (E1-E4). Those interested may apply at https://www.ngai.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-Fellowship-Application-fillable.pdf. Application deadline is 10 March.

French Lick has really made some significant achievements in last several years with beautiful upgrades in the downtown infrastructure as well as the resort. It has become the destination of choice for several prominent events to include multiple PGA events, Big 10 Golf Championships, and the Porsche Club of America Porsche Parade. The reputation of French Lick as a national destination of choice continues to grow. Meanwhile, the resort management has worked hard to keep a very cost effective venue available for our Association business. With the addition of the Water Park, Cart Racing, Lazer Tag & Mini golf, French Lick Winery, horseback or mountain bike riding, there are many optional activities available. Check out https://youtu.be/qL54qPAH6fU. Consider taking advantage of the great discount room rate and come early or stay late. To check on room availability prior or after our conference dates, please call the hotel reservations at 888-936-9360.
For any questions, call the NGAI office at 317-247-3196 or email Linda@ngai.net.

Mike Sturm
Executive Director
National Guard Association of Indiana