National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Joseph Lengyel warned against a federal National Guard activation as the Trump administration is allegedly considering doing exactly that to fight Cov-19, aka the Wuhan Virus.
“I think you can get everything you need from the National Guard more efficiently and more effectively if you leave them in a state status,” the Air Force general said at a news conference Thursday, according to Air Force Magazine.
As of Saturday morning, governors across 28 states had mobilized components of the Army and Air National Guard, according to the Military Times.
Lengyel said it “would not make sense in this situation” for President Trump to call for federal activation of the National Guard.
There has been no commitment to federalize the Guard at this point, but it has allegedly been discussed, along with a two-week nationwide stay-at-home order.
Many people have reported troop movements and think preparations are being made or that the military is being called up. That isn’t the case.
To confirm what others have pointed out: these are new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles being transported by @USArmy Materiel Command from the factory in Oshkosh to Fort Bragg, NC. These deliveries by train to our bases nationwide are not infrequent and have nothing to do w COVID-19 https://t.co/6RNYfgAYhV
— Jonathan Rath Hoffman (@ChiefPentSpox) March 21, 2020
WASTE OF TIME AND FINANCES
This would mean the guardsmen could be deployed to another state and that deployment would be funded by the federal government, which would “cost billions and billions and billions of dollars,” according to Lengyel.
They have been federally activated at times, in response to Hurricane Katrina for example.
Lengyel said that in the current situation, “a lot of people won’t have things to do” under Title 10 status.
“There is no need right now to have 450,000 guardsmen on duty in any given state,” he said, according to Air Force Magazine.
“As states need the National Guard to react to this kind of pandemic, governors have the authority to bring them on active duty, as there are tasks and purpose for them to be used.”
Lengyel emphasized that the control of the National Guard should remain at the state level, at least for now.
“The best use of the National Guard is to use the National Guard for the unique authorities that it has, and that is to remain under the command and control of the networks in the states,” he said.
As of Thursday, every state and territory in the United States had declared a state of emergency, and there were 2,050 National Guard troops on state activation to help combat COVID-19.
“Thus far, six members of the National Guard have tested positive for COVID-19,” Lengyel added. “We have force health-protection measures in place, and will continue to keep our NG members informed as the situation develops.”
It does appear to overkill and could be used against the President. Not every state needs the one-size-fits-all.