The National Guard Bureau Chief, Lieutenant General H Steven Blum was notified January 26 that the United States Senate confirmed his nomination for a two-year extension in his current position. In December 2006, he was nominated for this extension by President Bush. LTG Blum will have served as the chief for four years in April 2007.
During his tenure, LTG Blum has presided over the transformation of the National Guard from a strategic reserve to an operational force. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, he rebalanced the National Guard to ensure the nation's governors would have at least one-half of their National Guard available at all times to mitigate the effects of potential catastrophic events. During Hurricane Katrina, he directed the largest military response to a national disaster in American history, sending more than 50,000 guardsmen from every state and territory to relieve the badly stricken Gulf states. In 2006, Blum answered the President's and four southwestern governors' call to send up to 6,000 troops to support the Customs and Border Patrol mission along the border. The largest mobilization of the Guard since WWII also occurred during LTG Blum's first four years as the National Guard Bureau Chief.
He is the senior uniformed National Guard officer responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, programs and plans affecting more than half a million Army and Air National Guard personnel. Appointed by the President, he serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army, and the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force on all National Guard issues. As NGB Chief, he serves as the Army's and Air Force's official channel of communication with the Governors and Adjutants General. Prior to his current assignment, General Blum served as Chief of Staff, United States Northern Command.