A Force Behind ‘Total Force’

December 11, 2015

December 13th is recognized as the birthday of the National Guard. A historic military organization that began in 1636 as a Massachusetts colonial regiment, it is now the oldest constituent of the U.S. Armed Forces. You could say that it’s the grandfather of citizen-soldier reserve components such as the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

With that birth story in mind, let’s turn our heads to AATC, a U.S. Air Force aircraft test facility located in Tucson, Arizona. It’s the subject of a gov pub entitled “Relevance Through Innovation: The History of the Air National Guard-Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC).” It is an innovation hub for airmen and civilians from Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and the Air Force to find “cost-effective but cutting edge technology to improve the ARC’s combat capability and add value to the Total Force.”

008-070-00866-1The book details the testing facility’s inception, workforce challenges, leadership changes, and milestones. Over the years, AATC has endeavored to use new and old tech approaches to produce combat capability improvements. The mettle of a modernized mission-ready fleet is tested at this highly functional proving ground.

Author David P. Anderson writes of AATC’s extensive history: “It illustrates the true spirit of innovation that helped it acquire and sustain operation relevance to the Air Force.” When you read the book, you begin to appreciate how the facility represents more than just testing and technology. Several chapters touch upon the many years it took for AATC to cultivate its strengths and overcome the limitations of bureaucracy.

The facility is a success story of military transformation. Through testing and evaluation, AATC equips a fighting force to protect and defend the United States. Talk about a considerable force behind ‘Total Force.’

How do I obtain this publication?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


The National Guard turns 375… and is still going strong

December 13, 2011

Guest blogger Emma Wojtowicz discusses a milestone for the United States National Guard.

Today the U.S. National Guard celebrates its 375th anniversary.

On December 13, 1636, the Massachusetts Bay Colony General Court issued a declaration that all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to join the militia to defend against enemy attack and protect the settlements.

Image: The First Muster in 1637 took place after the December 13, 1636 Massachusetts General Court declaration established three regiments of “citizen soldiers” within the colony to defend against enemy attack and preserve villages established in the colony per English militia tradition. Source: “The First Muster” painting by Don Troiani.

Now, 375 years later, the National Guard still has the same mission and is an important part of the fabric that defends our country. The National Guard’s motto “Always Ready, Always There” is embodied in its founding when militias protected the colonies and today as the National Guard protects U.S. citizens at home and abroad.

In honor of this momentous occasion, the Government Printing Office has assembled a collection of National Guard publications, from history to present-day operations.

The National Guard and the War on Terror: Operation Iraqi Freedom is the third book in a series published by the National Guard Bureau about the National Guard’s role in major events from the first decade of the 21st century, including the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.

Operation Iraqi Freedom focuses on the early years of the Iraq War – the National Guard’s largest commitment of combat personnel since World War II.  Weaving together personal narratives, photographs, charts, and maps, the book tells the story of the Iraq War from the perspective of the National Guard’s citizen-soldiers and airmen and their role in the war from the lead up to war after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to 2006 before the troop surge.

Operation Iraqi Freedom stresses that the National Guard has had a hand in every aspect of the United States’ engagement in Iraq from strategy and combat to stabilizing, training, and rebuilding the country. The author is very thorough in his explanations of conflicts and does not shy away from portraying the realities of war. Image: Never Forget! painting by Larry Selman shown in the Operation Iraqi Freedom book.

The book’s perspective rotates through National Guard units from various states detailing their missions and conveying to readers the national effort and representation of troops who are serving overseas. Operation Iraqi Freedom concludes with an “In Memoriam” tribute to members of the National Guard who have lost their lives during the Iraq War and a brief chronology of the war during the time period of the book from January 2002 to December 2006. These two closing features put the war in perspective considering other branches of the United States military that are also engaged in the Iraq War.

For 375 years, the National Guard has played a vital role in protecting the United States, which is illustrated in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This new role of supporting the other armed forces overseas in combat “warfight” missions is relatively new, but its other roles of homeland defense and security, emergency response here and abroad,and other domestic support missions are well-known and much appreciated by generations of Americans for the past 375 years.

Image: Varied missions of the National Guard. Source: National Guard Website Image Gallery

The National Guard’s almost four centuries of service is being recognized at the highest levels. It is important to note that on Monday, November 28, the U.S. Senate approved an amendment to the defense spending bill that– if passed in the final version by both houses–  would elevate the National Guard chief to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joining the leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines at the highest level of military and defense strategy.

Image:  DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. – A crew of Airmen with the 114th Fighter Wing of the South Dakota Air National Guard carefully place sandbags along a retaining wall where heavy equipment could not be used to reinforce the levee here on June 5, 2011. The Airmen are working alongside Army National Guard Soldiers to provide critical support to flood prevention operations as the Missouri River reached critical flood levels. Source: South Dakota National Guard; Photo by Sgt. Charlie Jacobson

How can you get The National Guard and the War on Terror: Operation Iraqi Freedom?


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