An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Transcripts : Transcript View
TRANSCRIPT | May 28, 2024

Media Round Table National Guard Domestic Operations and Support to Natural Disasters

Moderator (Maj Jennifer Staton) [00:00:34] Morning, everyone. Welcome to the Media Roundtable on National Guard Domestic Operations and support to natural disasters, with a focus on wildfires and hurricanes. I'm Major Jennifer Staton, and I will be moderating today's discussion. The event is being recorded and everything discussed is on the record. The recording will be uploaded to our YouTube channel following the conclusion of the event. Following today's opening statements from our three panelists, I will ask each of the reporters by outlet for questions. In the interest of time, please keep to one question and one follow up. If time does permit, I'll come back around for additional questions. The zoom chat window will be monitored throughout today's event, and we will be posting some helpful information there as well, including the biographies of our panelists. A quick reminder for all of our folks dialing in to keep your mics muted when not speaking. I'm honored to introduce today's panelists. Army Brigadier General Robert Paoletti, Director of the Joint Staff, California National Guard. Army Colonel Larry Doane, J3, Current Operations Division Chief, National Guard Bureau, and Army Lieutenant Colonel Blake Heidelberg, J3, Director of Military Support, Florida National Guard. With that, I'll turn it over to General Paoletti to open our discussion, sir, if you please.

Army Brig. Gen. Robert Paoletti [00:01:51] Yeah. Good morning, and thank you, everyone, for participating in today's event. We have been, you know, obviously very busy since about 2017 with wildfires. And I'm very proud of the fact that California has made significant investment over the last few years more towards prevention rather than just reaction to California wildfires. The governor has invested a significant amount of state money to put over 300 National Guardsmen on emergency state active duty, which is our Task Force Rattlesnake in the off season. The task Force Rattlesnake focuses on debris clearing under the direction of Cal Fire, and then it augments Cal Fire with 14 type one hand crews during the fire season in the event of a fire. They've made significant investments also in the air fleet for Cal Fire, which alleviates a lot of the National Guard having to fly, which increases the readiness of our of our aviation assets. We have partnered with the U.S. Forest Service and are one of two, task force fire guards. Our fire guard program uses real time geospatial data to identify fire starts, notifies local, state, and federal authorities of those fire starts so they can respond very, very quickly. In today's changing world, though, we have to be ready for more than just wildfires. We responded the last two years to floods in California's first hurricane. I know the Florida is much more experienced that those than we are. But we stand ready and, stand ready to uphold the National Guard motto of, "always ready, always there," to respond to the needs of Californians when they need it the most.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:03:30] Thank you, sir. Colonel Heidelberg. Do you have any opening remarks?

Army Lt. Col. Blake Heidelberg [00:03:35] Yes, ma'am. Thank you. And to everybody, thank you for this opportunity. And thank you for letting us get the message out about not only how Florida prepares, but how overall, the resiliency of communities in our states help us better respond, whether it's to forest fires like California's dealing with or to hurricanes like Florida, it's been known to be able to respond to. So it's a deliberate approach that we take in Florida. And as California mentioned, we've got great leadership that supports us, and the state supports us not only from the legislature and the governor's office with funding and that support, but our leadership of the Florida National Guard and Major General Haas supports us in ensuring that it's a deliberate approach in that we devote a drill every year just to our hurricane response and our domestic operations training. So we look at it and we plan and we assign specific tasks to units, because we know that hurricanes are not only our most likely course of action, but they're also our most dangerous course of action. So it allows us to really focus on that. And we have a saying in Florida that you're either in hurricane season or you're preparing for hurricane season. And we try to really focus on that. Obviously we think that we have relevant forces that help us. We have maneuver units that are relevant not only in the national fight, but they really help Florida respond to the domestic operations and that training that they do every year. And then they brief that back during their annual training reports and everything. So the leadership's completely involved. Everybody has buy in and everybody understands their key task and requirements. And I think the most important thing the Florida does besides that training is a coordination that we do with the state. So we work closely with the state level to do training events, whether it's at the state level or the county level. And then we work very closely with those counties to ensure that we're taking kind of all guidance and all direction from that local level, because we're always in support of those local authorities will respond. We're just one tool in the toolbox of the holistic approach from the government. And then the the kind of third leg of the stool that we focus on. You got the Florida National Guard in our training. The state approach is the national support that we get from NBG with the All Hazards Conference, where we plan whether states can come into Florida and help us if we need, or where Florida can help. And then we work with our title 10 partners as well. If there are any gaps of the guard can't fill or anything like that. So it's really a holistic approach that we take, and I think it helps us set up for success. We're only as good as our last response, but the support that we have from the leadership, our fellow states and the national levels really helps make us successful. And we hope to continue to build off that success each year. Thank you.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:05:54] Thank you so much, sir. Col. Doane, do you have any opening remarks?

Col. Larry Doane [00:05:59] Sure. Thank you very much and thanks everyone for being here today. We always love an opportunity to talk about the great work that our, our National Guardsmen are doing out there in the community. And, I won't touch on much that my colleagues haven't already covered. Let's take a moment to talk a little bit about the role of the National Guard Bureau in our place here at the federal level and how that supports what's happening in the States and really specifically the role of my boss, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Hokanson, from his role as a member of the Joint Chiefs and specifically having that, unique responsibility to, communicate the abilities and activities of the non federalized National Guard and then acts that channel communication from the federal level back down to the state level, to those adjutant generals who were actually out there getting the work done in the states. And you've heard a little bit about how my colleagues are interacting with their communities every day. And that's, part of the strength that they bring to the fight. That's the same thing we do here at our level. But our communities, the federal government, the interagency, where every day we're working at our level to make sure we maintain strong ties across the Department of Defense and those combatant commanders out there that may have, capability to bring to bear. And then our partners of FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, and across the wider interagency and how we bring their unique talents together, in support of that state. So the unique nature of the National Guard, where you have these 54 states and territories and the district, each with their own unique way of tailoring, problem sets provide that local expertise. While the National Guard Bureau and its relationship across the federal interagency can bring the entire nation's resources to bear in support of that uniquely tailored solution so that we stay in a locally led, locally driven, response that's informed by those people who are experiencing disaster but then supported by the entire United States of America through it, the federal government or agency partners. And, you know, to my years of doing this, that that's the special sauce that I think really brings the National Guard to the fore in these responses. And, the thing that our, our citizens are really come to rely upon on their, on their toughest days.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:07:57] Thank you so much, sir. Thank you gentlemen. At this time we'll go ahead and open up to some questions. Reuters. Associated Press. CNN.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:08:25] Army magazine.

Steve Beynon, [00:08:37] I'll do a question, everybody. Steve Beynon, with here. I'm not sure who'd be the best to pick this up, but I assume the guard is very engaged right now, especially since half the country is either getting hit with tornadoes or underwater. Do we have a rough count of how many guardsmen are currently deployed? And can that possibly be broken down by title 32 and 10, please?

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:09:02] Colonel Doane, would you like to start us off, please?

Col. Larry Doane [00:09:05] Yeah, I've got some rough numbers I can give you now. And, the breakdown by 10 and 32, we'll use some some broad strokes here. And I can certainly get to the finer details if you need them, but, so currently just through 2024, we're looking at about 2.5 million personnel days executed so far. That 2.5 million about, you know, about a million or so, are related to our warfighting mission, to our standard warfighting strengths overseas. And then within the United States, we have everything from, the operations in New York, the Empire Shield Mission, which has been going on since, after 9-11, providing a lot of security. The largest, events we're seeing are along the border, a few hundred thousand events, either there. The wildfire missions so far, and it's still early in the year, we're looking about 47,000 or so days executed so far, severe weather, looking about, 30 - 800. So we haven't got too many there, but we are still the front end of the season. Interestingly enough, search and rescue we've already, broken 180 days, but you have to recognize that most of those are search and rescue missions are one day events where we go out looking for somebody, 1 or 2. So we're already fairly busy, you know, comparison to last year, looking back at 2023, we ended up with, you know, more than 50,000 days in support of severe weather, more than 180,000 days in support of wildfire missions, a thousand days of search and rescue support. So the, the the operational tempo for the National Guard is pretty busy. And, as you pointed out, with most of the country experiencing severe weather even early in the season, it doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon.

Steve Beynon, [00:10:37] Thanks. Could I get it after of the total number of, troops deployed? Right now, just, in the U.S.. That'll be a possible number to get?

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:10:48] We can take that, sir. Sir, we will get that.

Steve Beynon, [00:10:52] Excellent. Thank you.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:10:53] Thank you. I'll come back to Army Magazine here. I understand there were some technical issues. Army magazine?

Reporter, Army Magazine [00:11:03] Yes. Apologies, ma'am. First, thanks so much for everyone for coming here today. I really appreciate it. My question was sort of inspired by a post that you all put out approximately a month ago, where you talk about how AI and other sorts of futuristic technology might be able to be used to support our disaster response, specifically through project, but I was curious if y'all could talk a little bit more about how we might be, as you mentioned, during a particularly difficult disaster response you're getting after, this ahead of time or more quickly through AI or other technology as we enter, I guess, the stage and where there might be more storms.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:11:49] Thank you, ma'am. General Paolettie, would you like to kick us off with that?

Army Brig. Gen. Robert Paoletti [00:11:53] So most of that for us is actually being done by our state partners. It's not being done by us. So I don't have a lot of information on predictive analysis being done by AI. Most of it is our part is incorporated into our fire guard program and trying to get the earliest response that we can. So identification of the fire as early as possible. I'm not sure how AI plays into that, whether that will speed that response or not. But, that technology hasn't made it to us yet, so I don't have a lot of information or comment.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:12:32] Thank you, sir. Colonel Heidelberg, do you have any perspectives from Florida?

Army Lt. Col. Blake Heidelberg [00:12:37] You know, again, way out of my level of expertise when we're talking about AI at the Florida National Guard level. But our state is using it, as the general said, for predictive analysis, really looking at, how it incorporates into the flood and, and the flooding in impacted areas. And then also, we know that, from the exercise that we had when NOAA was involved, they're using it for their tracking and predictiveness of the tracking. So we believe that they're changing. And I don't want to speak for NOAA, but they're changing the way that the code is going to look that we're so used to and everything this year and all that. So we think it's going to help us with our prediction. And then we hope that, as the state incorporates more and more into it and our partners do that, it will help us in our response operations. But really, that's all I can speak to on the AI right now, but.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:13:21] Appreciate it, Sir. Is there anything from the Guard Bureau perspective?

Col. Larry Doane [00:13:25] You know, we certainly pay a lot of attention to developments in industry, and we're always looking at the capability gaps that exist in our forest, both for our assigned for title ten missions as well as disaster response. And, you know, I've been interested in a lot of the things, you know, just recently was at Amazon headquarters, taking a look at some of the tools they use in their volunteer disaster response. And how do we incorporate some of those things into products that we could use at our level, and that's that's not an uncommon conversation. We have a lot of with private partners and inter-governmental, agencies. I think what's important here is that we've kind of gone from this world where we didn't have very much information about what was happening to this world now, where it's almost a tsunami of information that hits us with reports back from everything from open source media feeds to the drone feeds and cameras. And the challenge for disaster responses is, how do I parse through all this data and actually get to something that makes sense so that people can make decisions on the ground about where I put, scarce resources? Where do I put the the priority of my response? And, you know, having done this for a little while, I'm sure that my colleagues agree that, you know, AI will always be an interesting tool. It'll be a tool like many others that assist us. But the, the real work is always going to be getting done by those, those service members on the ground that you're still going to need a set of eyes on that flood embankment, and you're gonna need a, you know, a person in that operation center who can use their creative and critical thinking skills to work their way through that problem set. And, that's, I think, where AI is going to become a useful tool for us to speed that. But I don't think it's ever going to supplant the work of those and the experience of those first responders on the ground.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:15:01] Thank you sir. Hurley, did you have a follow?

Reporter, Army Magazine [00:15:05] No, thank you so much.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:15:07] Thank you. KOLD. First Coast News. Air and Space Forces magazine.

Chris Gordon, Air and Space Forces Magazine [00:15:28] Yeah. Hi. Chris Gordon, Air and Space Forces magazine. Thanks for doing this. I know you can't predict the future, but, roughly what do you expect the need, for aerial firefighting will be, this season? And, how many units in the Guard and Reserve and aircraft and aircrew are certified in aerial firefighting right now? Thank you.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:15:56] General Paoletti, Sir, Can I start that with you? For the wildfires in California?

Army Brig. Gen. Robert Paoletti [00:16:00] Yeah. So, what I'm hopeful is that response necessity is very low. We've had two good fire years. We're focused a lot on debris mitigation, lowering the fuels in the fire areas and then in California. And that's what I can speak to, is that we have our MAFFS system up. We just conducted, Wildfire Prevention Week. We conducted our training with Cal Fire for our aviation crews, and recertified them with Cal Fire. But I very encouraged by the amount of investment California has made, both with Cal Fires complete. I think they have 17 brand new UH-60 Fire Hawks now. They have three, certified C-130 MAFFS. And in the NDAA, they just got seven more C-130s from the Coast Guard that will be coming to California. The first will be retrofitted for MAFFS, by the end of this year. So I think California has an exclusive contract through Cal Fire for additional civilian aviation assets. OV-10 Broncos, S2 Vikings, a lot of aviation equipment. So, we stand ready to augment Cal Fire when needed. But I think that the California's significant investment with Cal Fire, will hopefully limit how much play time that we have to spend fighting fires, because they're so much more ready to react than they were five years ago.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:17:37] Thank you, sir. Any follow up to that, sir?

Chris Gordon, Air and Space Forces Magazine [00:17:42] Yeah, I just across the Guard Bureau, how many, units are certified in, in aerial firefighting? You can take that question if you don't have an answer offhand, but, just curious on that.

Col. Larry Doane [00:17:56] Larry down here, so, I I'll have to take that one off line because I don't know, at the top of my head right now the exact number of certified crews that part moves around a little bit, depending on status for crews. I do know that all the systems, all but modular for firefighting system for expected this year and all of our systems, some of it on the material side, are ready to go. So, I'll have to get back to you on, exactly where crew certification. We are anticipating everyone being on line. But I'll have to get to that exact number, in a follow up.

Chris Gordon, Air and Space Forces Magazine [00:18:26] All right. Thank you.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:18:27] Thank you, gentlemen. Homeland Security today, Mr. Stoneking.

Reporter - Homeland Security Today [00:18:33] Thanks very much. Thanks for doing this. And thank you all for your service. I do have a question and a very simple follow up. My question is, the elements of the National Guard like, WMD, CSTs HRF, are those elements still, capable to be employed either in whole or in part as part of your support to respond to natural disasters?

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:19:05] Colonel Heildelberg, would you like to speak from a Florida perspective?

Army Lt. Col. Blake Heidelberg [00:19:08] Yes, ma'am. Thank you. And it's a great question. So, you know, this is a source and a resource that's in our state. Florida is lucky. I think California is another state and New York. I'll have two CSTs. Florida is lucky. We also have a SURF-P. We don't have a HURF, but Georgia does. But to answer your question as briefly as I can, first is, yes, we use them in our domestic response operations. Absolutely. The CCTs are a truly a Swiss Army knife of capabilities. They've got a great communications package suite. So we use them not only for C2, but as LNOs, they even augment Brigade staffs when needed and things like that. And obviously they can be first responders because they're typically ready to respond very quickly. We have a SURF-P, which has a myriad of capabilities, but typically they do a lot of search and rescue for us. We also have them rolled up into what we call our All Hazards Battalion, which is one of our first battalions. That kind of goes out to coordinate and support the SAR effort, and then they help on the on the back end side as we start into their response operations and recovery operations. So we use those we work closely with Georgia. We train every year with deploying the SURF-P, the CSDs and the HURF joined and combined as they would for a CBRNE response. But we use them in domestic operations, every year, unfortunately, when we respond. But we do use those as a, as a another tool in our toolkit.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:20:26] Thank you, sir. General, Paoletti, anything from the California perspective?

Army Brig. Gen. Robert Paoletti [00:20:30] Yeah. So we are fortunate in the fact that we have two CCTs that have are tied right in with, OES operations, that gets tasking from them. We also get tasking from federal agencies, the CCTs. We do have a SURF-B, or a Seabird Task Force, and we have a Homeland Response force, which I was fortunate enough to command as commander of the 49th Military Police Brigade. They are tied in very closely, and I look at them as an essential part of our all hazard response because California just doesn't deal with wildfires. I mean, you have a you have a potential that during a wildfire to have a seabird incident, if it hits a chemical factory or refinery or something else. But we also have to deal with the potential of an earthquake, and that is a no notice, all hazards response. You know, a hurricane, we get a weather report, an earthquake, we do not. And, if anyone's seen the movie San Andreas, that's what keeps me up at night. And I don't think the Rock is going to steal a helicopter and save us all. So, you know, we we plan very much with California Office of Emergency Services, FEMA region nine, our state partners in Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, our bordering states that can really come and help us. Because if you look at the San Andreas fault line, it runs from the Cape of Mendocino to east to San Diego, through San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles Basin, and then to east of San Diego, where a large portion of my force structure actually sit. So when we look at planning for earthquakes, I have to plan for the fact that a lot of my force structure may not be available, and I'll have to use iMac or other things to bring in things for other states to fill the capability gaps that will be created by the damage that may be done to my own facilities and infrastructure, but those CSTs that Homeland response force, we use our homeland response force because they're tied in so closely to so many agencies for their training. They are the natural, you know, all hazards, domestic, response headquarters that we activate. First and foremost is the JTF in the field. While I lead things here at the state level with the Office of Emergency Services. So, and the adjutant General. So I think that your question is very pertinent in the fact that, they have to be tied in to that all hazards response. Otherwise you're not getting that chemical recon mass decontamination capability. And the herp that we have provides an immense amount of C2 capability, command control capability, to all of those assets coming to an all hazards response. I believe California was the first to use it in total during the Camp Fire, which you wouldn't think that you know, that would be a viable response. But we used our security elements. We used our decon because when you have that amount of homes that were in the city of Paradise burn, now you have all the contaminants, all those cleaners, all that stuff that's in that house that is now dry particulate contaminant that's on the ground. And we're in there searching for cremated remains. And there was no decon taking place before the search workers went home. We were able to decon them, get that dry particular contaminant off. We developed a system for deconing the cadaver dogs, which the Army didn't have. One of our sergeants, Sergeant Garber, developed that. It's basically given a dog a bath, but, and getting that stuff. But even even so, using the expertise of the CSTs and the decon element, the county was simply throwing away the masks every day. And so we ended up cleaning them, putting in new filters every day, and saving the county about $50 to $70,000 during the response to that fire, just due to the expertise of the CSTs, SURF-B and the Homeland Response Force. So very proud of the work that they did while I was the commander. And the way that we incorporate them through OES and FEMA into the all hazard response with state.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:24:26] Thank you, sir.

Col. Larry Doane [00:24:27] To piggyback on that. It's that expertise, proved invaluable, down the road. So the many of the lessons learned from the Paradise Fire, California's response were then directly applied in Maui and their response to wildfires. And they saw a lot of the same problem sets that the Californians had dealt with. But because of a lot of those state, the state level connections and the those trust networks built like ours, we were able to push the those lessons learned forward quickly and, use those response elements present in Hawaii in many of the same ways that, California had developed best practices. And, and we here at the National Guard Bureau, we also maintain a reserve, and, your warehouses here of response, equipment. Really? And it sounds like that would be pretty specific, but it ended up there were pieces of it that were required of Maui that were absolutely vital. When the fires were so hot, it was melting the boots right off of the responders. We were able to push, you know, 100,000 pairs of, firefighting boots out there, out of our our summer response kits. We were able to push forward, you know, mask, filters and cleaning stuff to, enable those, and extend the ability of those responders to stay inside that zone in Maui and reopen the areas for for other for responders. We didn't have that training to get in to over there work. So that that depth of knowledge and that depth of response at the national level, all funneled back down to that state is because, again, as I said, it became one of the hallmarks of how the National Guard solves problems.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:25:57] Thank you, gentlemen. Mr. Stoneking, sir, do you have a follow?

Reporter - Homeland Security Today [00:26:01] That's a very simple follow up. I know over the years, the National Guard has been referred often as the first military responder. But I have not heard that in recent years, nor do I see it on the website. So is that still an accurate description? And if it's not an accurate description, what's changed in the roles between the National Guard and the active duty?

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:26:25] Colonel Doane, do you have any insights from your perspective?

Col. Larry Doane [00:26:27] Dr.. Well, I know I'd say from a from a policy point of view, we absolutely are still the first military responder. And, I you know, I really can't speak to why that phrase hasn't been used as often, but our relationship with the active component continues to be as it always has. You know, that we we are the first military responder. Maui was an excellent, example, though of sometimes when we have to be more flexible, because of the location or typhoons in Guam, where, if you live on one of those islands, your neighbor is not another state, your neighbor is the United States Navy. And so that's one of those times when the, National Guard Bureau works to bridge that gap between the active opponent and that local and state response, really seamless. Another thing you and I have to provide incredible, credit to US INDOPACOM, and their forces out there in the Pacific Fleet and US Army Pacific. You know, they stepped up. Great. But there's a there's a construct we started using called the dual status commander that I think it's become very valuable in, in integrating that active component National Guard response where a handful of officers, typically general officers, generally a National Guardsman, or doesn't have to be, go through special training at NORTHCOM, where they become certified by the commander of NORTHCOM to command title-10 forces, active component forces, in addition to the title 32 forces in their state. And then, in the event of a disaster, we're going to have that side by side response. The affected state can nominate a dual status commander up through the secretary for appointment as a dual status commander. And then that person becomes a single unified command for all of that military support flowing at state. We've seen that work seamlessly. It is one of the best policy decisions I've seen in my career. And its implementation, I think, has gone a long way to integrating that military response. Where to the average citizen on the ground, they don't know if that person is a guardsman or an active component person coming to help them. They're shirt just says U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force. And they're grateful for the help.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:28:23] Thank you, sir. Colonel Heidelberg, anything to add to that from Florida perspective?

Army Lt. Col. Blake Heidelberg [00:28:29] The only thing I would add is absolutely, you know, we work for the governor first, so the National Guard is the first military response. I think our states have become more resilient. So we're not considered first responders for that first military response. So we've tried to get away from that first responder because it takes us a little bit to, you know, alert, mobilize and deploy, unlike your firefighters or EMTs that might be in the county. So, you know, Florida is trying to get away from that first responder kind of, namesake. But we are the first military response, and I hope that helps answer or clarify the question. But, the dual status command comment is straight on. It's completely transparent to our state. You know, once we have that dual-status commander in the state, we bring in title-10 forces. And, we have been a, you know, beneficiary of and hopefully a trend setter. We always set up the dual status command, for the state of Florida, just in case we need those title-10 resources. And and that's been a best practice for us.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:29:26] Thank you sir. Any additional insights or best practices from California Paoletti, sir?

Army Brig. Gen. Robert Paoletti [00:29:31] Well, I think the dual status command, comment is absolutely imperative to the way that we operate. I just came back from L.A. Fleet Week and doing a disc, event with our partners down in the United States Marine Corps. Camp Pendleton, and the Navy, in Coronado. They understand it, but it's also applicable not just to emergency response, but to pre-planned events. I was just the dual status commander at the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference in San Francisco. That command and the support that a dual status commander gets from Army North, U.S Northcom, as well as the state, it provides a unity of effort and unity of command that can't be done any other way. You can't have the left hand not speaking to the right hand and bringing that together under a dual status commander, whatever status they may be. Works very, very well to make sure that the mission is accomplished seamlessly. And we did that at the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference that shows that, good planning makes a, rather boring execution. And that's what we like to see in emergency response. But, it is a very effective tool for us to use.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:30:48] Thank you so much, gentlemen. At this point, we have time for one more question. Synopsis.

Reporter - Synopsis [00:30:57] Hi. Thank you all so much for doing this. Can you say anything about any health care missions that y'all are currently on? Do you have anything going?

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:31:09] Colonel Doane, are you able take this one from an NGB perspective?

Col. Larry Doane [00:31:15] So if you're if you're referring to sort of our COVID response, that COVID support role, we really are not doing that anymore. Is that what you're getting at, ma'am?

Reporter - Synopsis [00:31:25] No, just in general, I know that a huge portion of the Army, especially military, health care capabilities, are in the guard. And I was wondering if y'all have any of that in support of combatant commanders or domestic?

Col. Larry Doane [00:31:43] Well, I can certainly speak the combatant commander part, where we provide medical units, overseas as a routine, deployment all the time. And we currently continue to do that. And that's everything from medevac units to combat support hospitals and everything in between. Domestically, I think I would characterize most of our medical support more as planning right now than response. You know, and I think my, my colleagues at the States probably provide a lot better data on that. But we we certainly talk at our level, about how we can better integrate the military health system into the civilian response in a homeland defense scenario. For if we're going to augment, civilian capacity, how we do that, but also at the same time, maintain our ability to protect our own forces and, accomplish our mission. I think I'm going to defer to my my friends in the field there for what they're doing.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:32:30] Thank you sir. I'll go to Florida first if you have anything in your field.

Army Lt. Col. Blake Heidelberg [00:32:35] Yes, ma'am. So briefly. So we don't currently have any of our health care units deployed or activated on state active duty or title-10. But I will say that COVID opened our eyes to the capabilities that might be needed for the state and our state, as you know, spent a lot of money and a lot of resources against it to be more resilient and less dependent on the military. But we are more incorporated in that medical training and that medical capabilities of not only responding to our soldiers, but also supporting our citizens. So we incorporate that a lot more into our training and our planning. But we currently don't have anybody conducting any medical missions in Florida.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:33:08] Thank you, sir. General Paoletti, California.

Army Brig. Gen. Robert Paoletti [00:33:12] Yeah, California. Likewise. We don't have any currently doing domestic operations. Our Charlie Med is currently deployed on a federal mission, and we anticipate them back next year.

Reporter - Synopsis [00:33:23] Thank you.

Maj Jennifer Staton [00:33:24] Thank you sir. Thank you ma'am. Thank you everyone for joining us. That's all the time we have for today. Thank you to all of our panel members for your time and expertise, and to the reporters for taking time out of your day to talk about National Guard domestic operations and support to natural disasters. If any of you have additional questions that were not addressed today, please reach out to the National Guard Bureau Public Affairs media team and we will run down answers for you. Our email address is listed in the chat box, and a transcript of this roundtable will be posted on National, later today, and the recording will be uploaded to the National Guard Bureau YouTube page. Thank you and have a great rest of your day.

Army Brig. Gen. Robert Paoletti [00:34:06] Thank you everyone for being here. We appreciate it.

Reporter - Synopsis [00:34:10] Thank you all for doing this.