Fix the Homefront

Army Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Wednesday that both the Army Guard and Air Guard are “superbly equipped and superbly trained” for operations overseas, but the same can’t be said for homefront operations. His words echoed those of retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro, when he briefed lawmakers last month on the latest report from the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves. Blum offered an example from the Air National Guard, saying that an Oregon Air Guard staff sergeant combat controller who had just returned from his third combat tour in Iraq found he had to train at home on 1953-vintage equipment. “So while we have the best people, we have some significant equipment challenges.”