National Guard units can be mobilized at any time by presidential order to supplement regular armed forces, and upon declaration of a state of emergency by the governor of the state in which they serve. Unlike Army Reserve members, National Guard members cannot be mobilized individually (except through voluntary transfers and Temporary DutY Assignments TDY), but only as part of their respective units. However, there have been several individual activations to support military operations since 2001.
When National Guard troops are called to federal service, the President serves as Commander-In-Chief. The federal mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide properly trained and equipped units for prompt mobilization for war, National emergency or as otherwise needed." For much of the final decades of the 20th century, National Guard personnel typically served "one weekend a month, two weeks a year", with a portion working for the Guard in a full-time capacity. The current forces formation plans of the US Army call for the typical National Guard unit (or National Guardsman) to serve one year of active duty for every six years of service. More specifically, current Department of Defense policy is that individual Guardsman will be given 24 months between deployments of no more than 12 months each.
The Governor may call individuals or units of the Arkansas National Guard into state service during emergencies or to assist in special situations which lend themselves to use of the National Guard. The state mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide trained and disciplined forces for domestic emergencies or as otherwise provided by state law." When not activated for its Federal mission, the Governor through the State Adjutant General commands Guard forces. The Governor can call the Guard into action during local or statewide emergencies, such as storms, drought, and civil disturbances, to name a few.
Military support to civilian authorities (MSCA)
Upon the request of either the judge or sheriff of a county or the mayor of a city... ...whenever it is made to appear to the Governor that there is a breach of the peace, riot, resistance to process of this State, or disaster or imminent danger thereof... ...the Governor may order into the active service of the state... ...for such period, and to such extent, and in such manner as he may deem necessary, all or any part of the organized militia.
The intent is that the National Guard is called only when civilian resources have been used first and fully exhausted. While in this status, Guard units report only to military authorities, Guard Authorities do not replace Civilian Authorities. The use of the National Guard is intended as a temporary measure to prevent the loss of life or damage to property.
When Tornados hit Dumas, Arkansas on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007 the Arkansas National Guard deployed 130 Soldiers to conduct the following missions:
Prevention of looting
In 2009 the Arkansas National Guard conducted over 101 MSCA missions, including:
Major ice storm – 81 missions
Water purification to support the town of Dierks, Arkansas
H1N1 flu vaccinations
The types of missions that the Arkansas National Guard conducted in 2009 included:
Cots and blankets
County disaster response teams (search and rescue, route clearance, debris removal)
The National Guard may also respond to natural disasters and other domestic operations in a Title 32 status. In this situation, the Guard is still under the direct command and control of the Governor, but the Federal Government provides the funding through Title 32 of the United States Code.
The Governor of Arkansas initially activated troops in a state active duty status in response to an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request from the Governor of Louisiana. EMAC provides mutual aid across state lines, provides assets for states' personnel and equipment shortfalls, places responding assets under operational control of requesting governor and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes cross-state support as reimbursable.
The Arkansas National Guard provided the first guard units from outside Louisiana to respond to the Louisiana Governor’s request for support when the 77th Theater Aviation Brigade deployed assets to New Orleans. A total of 3000 Arkansas National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were mobilized, with 1500 deployed to Louisiana at the peak of operations. The Arkansas National Guard assisted with processing over 10,000 evacuees through the Chaffee Maneuver Training Center (Fort Chaffee) at Fort Smith Arkansas. Arkansas National Guard units were among the last to leave Louisiana, finally handing off its missions to the Louisiana National Guard in February 2006.
When President Bush ordered National Guard Troops to help secure the border with Mexico, the Arkansas National Guard responded with a Joint Task Force of Soldiers and Airmen, operating in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. At its peak, Arkansas had over 230 Arkansas troops and airmen on orders including:
Arizona – 23 Airmen from the 188th Fighter Wing and 189th Air Lift Wing
New Mexico – 137 from 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and 87th Troop Command, ans 1 Airman from 188th Fighter Wing
Texas – 53 from the 77th Theater Aviation Brigade
Arkansas – 19 support personnel at the state Joint Operations Center and the Joint Forces Headquarters
The Arkansas National Guard operates over 70 National Guard Readiness Centers (traditionally referred to as Armories) in 55 Arkansas Counties. The state also maintains two Maneuver Training Centers, Chaffee Maneuver Training Center at Fort Smith, Arkansas and Robinson Maneuver Training Center at North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Chaffee Maneuver Training Center (Fort Chaffee) encompasses over 65,000 acres, large enough to support Brigade size training exercises, or up to approximately 7000 soldiers. Acreage available to support Field Artillery training as well as various small arms training ranges. A recent addition to Fort Chaffee is the convoy live fire range to meet the latest training requirement of the Global War On Terrorism. Fort Chaffee became a center for processing hurricane evacuees, providing shelter and relief to over 10,000 Citizens of Louisiana during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Robinson Maneuver Training Center (Camp Robinson) a 32,000 Acre facility located at North Little Rock, Arkansas, which houses the Joint Forces Headquarters, Arkansas National Guard, the Headquarters, Arkansas Air National Guard, Headquarters, 77th Theater Aviation Brigade, Headquarters, 87th Troop Command, and is home to 3 Premier Training Centers, the National Guard Professional Education Center (PEC), the Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) and the 233rd Regional Training Institute.
Camp Robinson is home to the PEC and its 75-acre campus consisting of 25 buildings and a total staff of approximately 420 military, civilian contractor personnel. We annually provide instruction to over 20,000 members of the military force. The Professional Education Center also hosts over 5,000 conferees annually from the National Guard, Army Reserve, Active Army, DOD, State and Federal agencies. These conferences typically provide 3 to 5 day training sessions covering specific subjects and discussions on a wide variety of issues such as: mobilizations and deployments; standards; new tactics, techniques, and procedures; and leadership development. The Army National Guard Senior Commanders' Conference, FORSCOM Command Readiness Program Conference, Winston P. Wilson Marksmanship Competition, Training and Requirements Opportunities Sourcing Conference, Army National Guard Fixed Wing Conference, and the Army National Guard Chief of Staff Advisory Council Conference are just a few of the conferences held at PEC.
The Marksmanship Training Center (MTC) programs and provides institutional training within Marksmanship related activities which will enhance effectiveness of unit level training programs in the Army and Air National Guard and missions based on the collective requirements identified by NGB-ART-I (Individual Training Branch), the Army Program for Individual Training (ARPRINT) for the Army National Guard, the United States Army Reserve (USAR), and the Active Component (AC) in support of the Army's Modular Force. Administer NGB Marksmanship training and competitive programs at all levels, stressing the development of combat skills to improve proficiency above basic marksmanship requirements and increase battlefield survivability. Provides training, training support and validation of mission essential task performance for the Army SNIPER training programs. Conduct mobile training team assistance and/or assessment visits to units. The MTC provides coordinating authority, quality assurance (QA), assessment and accreditation oversight for training responsibilities. The MTC provides for the review and development of associated TATS courseware in response to the Army's training needs and the Contemporary Operating Environment (COE). Additionally, the MTC provides operational, training, administrative, logistical, and resource management support as required to accomplish the mission to train the Army Warrior within each respective State and Territory as specified and approved by The Adjutant General (TAG).
The 233rd Regional Training Institute has a long and proud history. It began in 1957 with the first Officer Candidate Class. For the next 39 years the Arkansas Military Academy built a proud heritage in the Arkansas National Guard setting the standard for some of the best officers in the Army. The RTI provides training to Soldiers from all 54 States and Territories.
In 1984, General Herbert Temple had a vision to develop a two-week course that would hone and improve the soldier combat skills needed to win on the modern battlefield. For ten years the Battle Skills School trained soldiers from all over the United States on the basic skills of survival and small unit tactics.
The Total Army School System took shape in Arkansas as the 233d Regiment (Regional Training Institute) in October 1994. The 233d RTI was organized from the Arkansas Military Academy and the Battle Skills School combining their respective TDAs.
The Mission of the RTI is to train infantry and artillery, and communications military occupational specialties, as well as non-commissioned officer education, and officer candidate school. The 233rd operates the second largest infantry school in the Army, only second to Fort Benning. Approximately 1,930 soldiers graduated training at the RTI during Fiscal Year 06.
As of 2009, the Arkansas National Guard Consisted of 10,582 Soldiers and Airmen. 8,750 of these Soldiers and Airmen are considered traditional members, meaning that they are required to drill at least one weekend per month and 2 weeks per year, but often work more. The Arkansas National Guard is supported by 1,836 full-time federal military employees and an additional 545 full-time state civilian employees.
The Arkansas State Military Department supports the Arkansas Guard by providing responsible fiscal, administrative, nursing, security, youth service, family support, natural resource conservation, recycling, waste water, public affairs, legal, museum, fire, police officers, skilled trades, and trained professional staff that will ensure well-maintained armories, facilities, training, and personnel administration for the National Guard.
The Arkansas National Guard Operates two programs to assist at-risk youth.
The Arkansas National Guard Youth Challenge program is a 22-week residential program for at-risk youth ages 16–19. In 2009 the program graduated 109 cadets. Of that number 71 earned a GED or a high school diploma. Twelve graduates of the program joined the military and six enrolled in college. The Cadets perform community service at numerous events, such as the Arkansas Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure against breast cancer.
Civilian Student Training Program is a state funded program that provides a structured, discipline base and military style, behavior modification environment. the program accepts adjudicated male nonviolent offenders ranging in age from 13–17. The nine week residential multi-phase program stresses value-based learning, physical fitness, academic and life skills education, and community service. The program was proposed by the Arkansas National Guard and established by the state legislature in 1993. All participants are enrolled under court order. The program has graduated over 5,000 since its inception. The academic grade level increased of graduates increases by an average of 2.5 years. Over 25,000 hours of community service has been performed by CSTP graduates.
The Arkansas National Guard's total operating budget for FY 2008 was, $244.8 million; of that, the federal government provided $232.4 million and the State of Arkansas provided $12.3 million in fiscal year 2008. There were also federal military construction projects related to the Arkansas National Guard totaling $83 million in fiscal year 2008.
The Arkansas National Guard traces its roots to the creation of the Territorial Militia in 1804. Interest in the Militia in Arkansas generally waxed and waned throughout the 19th century as various national emergencies arose and passed. Arkansas provided troops for the War with Mexico, the American Civil War, and the Spanish–American War during the 19th century. In each case, in answer to the governor's call, local militia companies would turn out and be formed into regiments or battalions for induction into federal service. The militia was also heavily engaged in the violence that characterized the Reconstruction period following the Civil War.
Interest in the militia or Arkansas State Guard as it was known following reconstruction, ebbed and flowed throughout the 19th century, increasing just before or major conflicts, but diminishing in between. Most militia activity was at the local, county and city level, and was often provided for with private funds. It was only late in the 19th century, in the preparations for the Spanish–American War that the State Guard, as it was known then, truly came into existence as a stable organized force.
Following the Spanish-American war, the Arkansas State Guard, along with the militia forces of all other states, was reorganized as the Arkansas National Guard. With the reorganization came the first nationally directed training and increased funding. During World War I, units were stripped of their state designations and were given federal designations upon mustering into federal service. The National Guard saw a massive expansion and increased funding and training following World War I. A similar increase was seen after World War II. Following World War II, the air component was separated into the Arkansas Air National Guard. Both the air and land components of the Arkansas National Guard supplied forces for the Korean War. In 1967 during a nationwide reorganization of National Guard Units, the Arkansas Army National Guard took on most of its current force structure with one Infantry Brigade, One Field Artillery Brigade, Aviation units, and various Separate Companies under the Troop Command. Arkansas units have served in every major conflict since the Seminole War, with the exception of Vietnam. Arkansas Army and Air units remain fully engaged in the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.
Throughout its service to the nation during times of war, the Arkansas National Guard has continued to perform its role of providing service to the citizens of the state during times of disaster. The Guard has responded to numerous tornadoes, floods and fires, in addition to being called upon to provide security and quell violence in times of civil disturbance. The Guard has also provided support to neighboring states, most notably Louisiana during Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike.
The history of the Arkansas National Guard is divided into the following time periods:Arkansas Territorial Militia 1804–1836
Arkansas Militia and the War with Mexico, 1836–1847
Arkansas Militia in the Civil War, 1848–1865
Arkansas Militia in Reconstruction, 1865–1879
Arkansas State Guard and the Spanish-American War, 1879–1900
Arkansas National Guard during World War I, 1900–1919
Arkansas National Guard and World War II, 1920–1945
Arkansas Air National Guard, 1949–present
Arkansas Army National Guard and the Korean War, 1949–1954
Arkansas Army National Guard and the Cold War, 1954–1989
Arkansas National Guard and the Integration of Central High School, 1957
Arkansas Army National Guard in Operation Desert Storm, 1990–1991
Arkansas Army National Guard and the Global War on Terrorism, 1992–present
Arkansas Air National Guard, 1949–present