Saving The Guard

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

"We're dual missioned: one's federal... and one's state... and they have just cut the head off of the state mission and did not even consider homeland security in this mission."
Major General Vanderhoof says this is clearly a case, in his words, to intentionally brand every air guard base sitting on a commercial airport, as opposed to those on an air force base.
"The general officer in charge of BRAC, base realignment and closures, for the Air Force, came and talked to all of us... and openly admitted that we were intentionally excluded from the process.... The Air Force chose to keep it a secretive process and keep us out of it. We have found many inaccuracies in the report they have done and omissions."
Colonel Cindy Kirkland, who will take over as Adjutant General for Nevada officially next week, stresses, what she says is most important about the air guard's mission, it's exclusive use of intelligence gathering cameras attached to the plane.
The cameras provide a live picture from the air to alert those on the ground of any activity.
These are used during fires, it offers an infra-red picture that looks through the smoke and can instantly identify hot spots.
"Each of our planes has been modified to include intelligence gathering platforms and it's our intelligence gathering analysts, who by the way are staying, they are not affected by this BRAC recommendation. They're staying here to continue to do their work, but without the support of those aircraft, they can't do it."
The Pentagon says the BRAC list is essential to cost-cutting across the military.
For example, the Pentagon says the base closures from 19-88 through 19-95, saved about 18-billion dollars.
But, General Vanderhoof says the relocation will not save much money... only isolate the state during a disaster.
"If they take our planes, the only Air National Guard C-130s west of the Rockies will be a unit in Southern California, period."


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