Update from Kentucky’s Adjutant General regarding the federal government shutdown

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Adjutant General, Kentucky

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Adjutant General, Kentucky

October 8, 2013

To all members of the Kentucky National Guard, their families and to those who support our National Guard:

I wanted to reach out to you all with the most up-to-date information at my disposal. If you have a specific question related to you or your section, don’t hesitate to use the chain of command to garner the answers to your questions. Your Kentucky Guard leaders are in constant contact and are briefed several times daily regarding the Government Shutdown, the mil-tech recall, and other pending issues.

UPDATE ON FURLOUGHED MILITARY TECHNICIANS:
We are extremely thankful to have the vast majority of our Full-Time National Guard Duty Service Members back to work as a result of the Pay Our Military Act and the Secretary of Defense’s interpretation of the same.

We are diligently working with our respective representatives at the National Guard Bureau and our contacts within the DoD to bring ALL of our Full-Time National Guard Duty personnel back to work.

The government is still shut down. As an obvious consequence, ‘business is NOT back to normal.’ The nation’s military – as a whole – has been extremely limited in its ability to perform by the lapse of appropriated funds for FY14, which started on October 1st.

WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU AND OUR KENTUCKY GUARD:
Drills have been suspended. Mission support is limited. Travel is restricted. The National Guard-funded cooperative agreements with our state entities and facilities are in extreme flux and remain very much at risk.

The entire National Guard needs appropriated dollars to do our job.

I speak for each and every Kentucky Guardsman when I say, “We want to do our job.”

OUR JOB is to stand ready for when the Governor or the President calls us to duty. This duty may be stateside in the Commonwealth or in a neighboring state; fighting the waters, the winds or the earthquakes. OUR JOB may be conducted overseas to battle terrorism and to keep our freedoms free.

Our Kentucky National Guard members want to do the job we signed up to do.

Right now, we can’t do OUR JOB.

I’m deeply concerned that this lapse in appropriated funds is crippling our ability to respond in time of crisis. Our traditional Guardsmen can’t train, can’t prepare, can’t conduct drills to ready ourselves and our equipment to deal with disasters –natural or man-made.

The longer the government operates with a lapse in appropriation, the worse our readiness becomes for our state and our nation, as part of the Homeland Defense team.

I once again assert that all Soldiers and Airmen of the Kentucky National Guard are mission critical to our Commonwealth and our country.

As best we can, we’ll continue to stand ready, with a very lean force, to respond to the call of our Governor to save lives and property here at home.  We still are the most cost-effective force to defend America abroad when called.

I am committed to working with senior military and political leaders, encouraging them to allow us to train to maintain our ability to do our job when called.

Again, you, too, can express your concerns to our elected officials.

Your voice, as a member of the Guard, is crucial to ensure that we can do our job.

Our representatives, our senators and our President are accountable to us and need to hear our concerns.

I know the continuing budget uncertainty is stressful and frustrating. Please reach out to your Guard leadership for continued support.

Your professionalism and commitment to our Guard makes us the best force and the best Troops available for our Commonwealth and our country.

Thank you for your continued service in these very uncertain and challenging times.

God Bless you all.

Major General Ed Tonini
The Adjutant General – Kentucky

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