RD282 - Department of Military Affairs Report to the Governor and General Assembly on Budget Requirements 2016-2025
Bottom line up front – The Virginia National Guard is at a crossroads in time where we as a commonwealth must make decisions on how to provide basic funding needs to address shortfalls, primarily in the Guard’s facility posture, that have remained virtually unchanged since the 1960’s.
We’re the most highly trained and combat proven force in our Commonwealth’s history. The force is manned with Citizen Soldiers and Airmen who are key contributors in their communities and in their civilian professions.
The National Guard is a great value for the commonwealth and the nation, and it can maintain readiness at a fraction of the cost of active duty forces. National Guard members bring a wide variety of specialized civilian-acquired skills, experience and mature leadership to any mission in addition to their military skills.
This mix of civilian and military specialties is what makes the National Guard a premier fighting force, able to support our fellow citizens in time of need. We are the proud descendants of our forefathers of 1607 Jamestown and must make a conscious move to prepare ourselves for the next century - our fifth century! That preparation is summed up within the report, highlighting a critical need for resources to address funding requirements…
• High Priority Funding requirements that total over $32.5M
• Medium Priority Funding requirements that total over $39.995M
• Lower Priority Funding requirements that total over $56M
Supporting High Priority requirements will place the VNG in a position to be highly competitive to gain new force structure – potentially up to 3,000 Soldiers and Airmen. This number translates into an economic increase to the Commonwealth of over $76M in federal pay and allowances and a $200M increase in equipment that could be used to support emergency operations.
When Guard Soldiers and Airmen are called on state active duty, the Commonwealth funds their pay and allowances, but they operate with equipment that is federally funded. For example, the Humvees and large trucks that navigate through heavy snow or high water and the helicopters that transport supplies and can provide aerial rescue capabilities are provided by the federal government based on the Guard’s force structure. The training for Soldiers and Airmen to operate that equipment is also federally funded. But each State in the Union needs to do its part to help fund the additional personnel and facilities to make sure the Guard continues to be ready, relevant and rapidly responding.