20090619

19JUN09 Northern Edge 2009, why am I at home?

Elmendorf Air Force Base news page.

I know for a fact that in the past, members of the Alaska State Defense Force have been involved in this exercise, if for nothing else but to provide a Liaison Officer (LNO) so that agencies involved know we would be a player in a real event. To my knowledge, we are not haven't been authorized to be players in this event lately (2005 was the last time I heard about someone being activated for the event). I've also known about at least two mass casualty exercises where we were contacted and ready to provide players for, yet didn't for various reasons.

I'm going to investigate and go through my chain of command and report back here when I find answers, satisfactory or otherwise. This is an issue of the security and public safety of the State of Alaska, and not politics. If there are politics (and I know there are some between the Alaska National Guard and the Alaska State Defense Force) involved, I will let you all know. That would be a completely unsatisfactory reason for not being involved in critical training exercises and opportunities. I know for a fact, 3rd Battalion here in Fairbanks has a great relationship with our local National Guard, State Troopers, and Ft. Wainwright; I'd hate to see that all fall by the wayside over lack of face time during training exercises because people down in Anchorage are having pissing contests.

I've been through two tours in Iraq, one of which with a unit I didn't have the opportunity to train with. Face time is critical for interfacing with people and chains of command for coordination. I've received great training from our Battalion, training that in some cases was much better than some I had active duty wise. However, thats all been internal working toward Constable certification. That won't do us much good if we aren't getting out there and involved in mass casualty exercises or Operation Northern Edge planing for statewide contingencies (terrorist attacks, disasters, nuclear strikes from North Korea, etc...).

Security of the State of Alaska is my primary concern. Politics and pissing contests between National Guard and State Defense Force chains of command are not, and severely degrade our ability to protect Alaska and our families.

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