Vice Admiral Nominated to Lead NORTHCOM
President Barack Obama has nominated Vice Adm. James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld Jr. to be the next commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
If approved by the Senate, Winnefeld would receive his fourth star. He currently is director of strategic plans and policy at the Joint Staff and senior member of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. Military Staff Committee.
Winnefeld would be the second sailor to command NORAD, the U.S.-Canadian command charged with missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. He would succeed Air Force Gen. Victor E. “Gene” Renuart Jr. in both jobs.
NORTHCOM stood up Oct. 1, 2002, to provide command and control of Defense Department homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. Both NORTHCOM and NORAD are in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Winnefeld is an ROTC graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and has served as a naval aviator. He served with two fighter squadrons and as an instructor at the Navy Fighter Weapons School.
He commanded Fighter Squadron 211, the USS Cleveland and the USS Enterprise. He commanded the Enterprise during 9/11 and launched aircraft in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
He commanded Carrier Strike Group 2/Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Before taking his current job, he served as the commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet, NATO Allied Joint Command Lisbon and Striking and Support Forces NATO.
President Signs Defense Budget; Billions for National Guard
The 2010 Defense Department appropriations act signed last week includes $24.5 billion for the National Guard and a 3.4 percent pay increase for military members. The budget total is $636 billion.
Also in the bill is $128.3 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The bill includes increases in most areas for National Guard programs and needs. The Army Guard will received $7.546 billion for personnel, more than 14 percent above the previous level. The Air Guard will receive $2.74 billion for personnel, a hike of more than 7 percent from the 2009 budget.
The Army Guard's operation and maintenance portion of the budget is $6.189 billion, an increase of nearly 6 percent. The Air Guard's budget for operation and maintenance stayed pretty much at the same level as last year at $5.9 billion, a decrease of $18 million, less than 1 percent.
Other highlights include $110.8 million for the Guard's Youth ChalleNGe program and $1.1 billion for drug interdiction and counterdrug activities.
The complete bill can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov or at the National Guard Bureau's Office of Legislative Liaison Web site at www.ng.mil/ll.
Holiday Messages from National Guard Leadership
Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief, National Guard Bureau: The holiday season is upon us and provides an opportune time to reflect upon the meaning of the season and the importance of family. As you spend time with your loved ones enjoying holiday celebrations, please keep our citizen-soldiers and airmen, and all of our men and women in uniform serving around the world, in your thoughts and prayers. And remember the family members who are keeping the home fires burning. They, too, are sacrificing much for the good of our nation. I wish you all a safe, festive holiday season and a joyous New Year!
Maj. Gen. Raymond W. Carpenter, acting director, Army National Guard: Greetings to you and your family. I want to wish the best this holiday season has to offer to you and yours. As we close out 2009, we are also closing out the first decade of the 21st Century. And what a decade it has been! Certainly one of the most significant times in the history of our nation and of our Army National Guard. A National Guard of which we can all be proud. And the source of that pride is the remarkable service and sacrifice of our fellow soldiers, their families, their communities, their employers and the civilian employees and contractors in support. It is a tremendous team and none better.
Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, director, Air National Guard: The holiday season is a special time to reflect on those things that are important to us. It provides us an opportunity to express our gratitude to those who inspire, support and care for us. Thank you to each of you for all you have done this past year. Your dedication and service to your country have been truly inspiring. It is difficult to express adequately just how much Nancy and I appreciate the hard work and commitment you bring to the duty of defending our nation. From our family to yours, we wish you a joyous holiday season and best wishes in the coming New Year. Happy Holidays!
BY THE WAY: Under a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010, a new program will offer “gray area” reservists the opportunity to purchase TRICARE health care coverage. More information is available at www.tricare.mil. … More than 1,200 Guardsmen in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia and North Carolina were called to duty last weekend after a record snowfall blanketed the Northeast.
Evidence of the finest kind of relationship between regular and reserve forces in June 1961 was the adoption of a resolution by NGAUS's executive council commending the Air Force's outgoing chief of staff, Gen. Thomas D. White.
In a simple, friendly ceremony in White's E-Ring office in the Pentagon a day before his active military service officially ended, a handsomely engrossed and framed citation quoting the resolution was presented to White by Maj. Gen. Carl L. Phinney, NGAUS vice president, acting on behalf of Maj. Gen. William H. Harrison Jr., NGAUS president, who was at the Governors' Conference in Hawaii.
The D.C. Air National Guard's 121st Tactical Fighter Squadron offered a six-plane formation of F100s as the Air Guard portion of an aerial flyover at the general's retirement ceremony the next day at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
This Week in Guard History
Dec. 24, 1944: Over Belgium—It is Christmas Eve and the Battle of the Bulge is raging as American forces attempt to repel German attacks along a front more than 50 miles wide. Brig. Gen. Frederick Castle commands a B-17 bomber force on a mission to hit targets behind the enemy lines.
Castle started his military career as a private in the New Jersey National Guard's 173rd Motor Transport Company, 44th Division. He enlisted in 1924 and remained a drilling Guardsman until the summer of 1926 when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1930 and was soon serving in the Air Corps. He quickly rose in rank and influence, in part because he became a noted author of several works dealing with the use of air power in modern war. Some of his predictions on the use of strategic bombing were proved true once the war in Europe erupted in 1939. By 1944, Castle is the assistant commander of the 4th Bombardment Wing, 8th Air Force, based in England.
This afternoon, he is flying the lead plane of a 2,000-strong B-17 force on a bombing mission to destroy enemy airfields. As his bomber approaches an area over Belgium occupied by Allied troops, it develops a problem in one of its four engines. Castle turns command over to another pilot and drops out of formation.
With the loss of one engine his plane soon lags behind the others. Unable to drop his bombs for fear of hitting friendly forces below, his plane continues on toward its target. However, enemy aircraft quickly find his crippled plane and repeatedly attack it. After just a few minutes, two more engines are on fire and the bomber starts to fall from the sky.
Castle orders his crew to bail out. Just as the last man leaves the burning plane, it explodes and Castle, still at the controls attempting to hold it steady, is killed. But because of his sacrifice, seven of his crewmen survive. He is awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for his courage in the face of imminent death.
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