Outlining Priorities for the Guard

National Guard Bureau Chief Army Gen. Frank Grass said he has four areas of focus for the Guard, which he re-evaluates about once a month. The first is to provide both Air National Guard and Army National Guard forces in times of need, whether that be contingency operations or something in the homeland, he said Wednesday at AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. It’s important that the Guard keeps its members engaged or it will risk losing its experience base, said Grass. The second priority is for the Guard to act as an effective steward of its resources. Now that the Budget Control Act is law, the Guard needs to “redouble” its efforts to be accountable, he said. “Part of the problem we all are dealing with is that we grew the budgets extremely rapidly for the war,” said Grass. He added, “When you grow that fast, you don’t always invest in the audit piece of that.” The third priority is to support and sustain the National Guard community. Grass said the Guard, like the rest of the Defense Department, has introduced a lot of programs since 9/11, such as the yellow ribbon reintegration and the transition-assistance advisors program. “We’ve got to keep those going,” he said. The final priority is partnerships. Grass said the Guard works really hard at building and maintaining partnerships with the Air Force, Army, Council of Governors, and various countries around the globe.