Air Guard Has Assumed Heightened Role since 911 James Says

first_imgThe National Guard has become an increasingly critical component of the Air Force since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, fulfilling a substantial share of the service’s missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and assuming new roles such as cybersecurity.“There’s no single institution that has been transformed in the last 15 years as much, I think, as the National Guard has been transformed,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Saturday during the National Guard Association of the United States annual conference in Baltimore.Over that time the Air National Guard has become significantly more integrated with the active component. “And tomorrow’s Air Force will continue to move more and more and more in that direction,” James said, reported Air Force Times.The heightened importance of the Air National Guard has come as the size of the active component has dropped dramatically.“We are asking more of you, we are utilizing your talents more now than ever before, and I would say that’s precisely because we need you now more than even we did before,” she said.One growing role for the Guard is cybersecurity, a change the service is carrying out by establishing new units.“It’s no surprise that we’re going to rely on the Guard more in this area,” James said. “By 2019, we expect to have cyber units in 34 states in the National Guard, consisting of almost 3,000 cyber-trained service members.”Other fields the Air Force is considering relying more on the Guard include space operations, aircraft maintenance and remotely piloted aircraft flights, according to the story. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img

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