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NEWS | Jan. 24, 2011

Grass: Guard, USNORTHCOM have critical partnership

By Army Sgt. Darron Salzer National Guard Bureau

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - “We are dependent on America’s National Guard … and the missions that you do every day,” Army Lt. Gen. Frank Grass, deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command said here Jan. 20.

“Partners – that’s what we are all about … and if you look at the top of the Department of Defense, our most important and critical partner is you, the National Guard.

“There are three critical missions that we break our mission into, [which are] homeland defense, security cooperation and civil support, and if you look across the board at the things that we do, there is not a mission that we do that the Air Guard or Army Guard doesn’t touch every day or accomplish for us.”

Grass said strategic partnering between USNORTHCOM and the National Guard is critical in today’s society.

“Shifting, or rather fading borders is the strategic world that we find ourselves in these days,” Grass said, “and the challenges that come out of that – we want to be prepared for by partnering with [the National Guard].”

Grass highlighted eight areas of focus for the USNORTHCOM mission that impact the homeland the most and said, “We rely heavily on National Guard men and women today to do our mission at NORTHCOM, and in some of our focus areas there is even potential for growth with the National Guard.”

The USNORTHCOM commander’s eight focus areas include: counter terrorism and force protection; combating transnational criminal organizations; defense support of civil authorities; Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear consequence management; maritime warning; aerospace warning and control; missile defense and the Arctic.

“We are interested in hearing from the states through the National Guard Bureau on where [our two agencies] can partner more,” the general said.

“The National Guard makes me proud every day, and it will be written in history that [the Guard] did an amazing job for the nation, and that you are a true national treasure.”