Congressional staff visit Kentucky National Guard

  • Published
  • By Dale Greer
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Staff members from Kentucky’s Congressional Delegation spent the day at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base here Feb. 17, meeting Soldiers and Airmen, and learning about the robust mission capabilities of the Kentucky Guard.

The 11 visitors included field representatives, communications directors and veterans outreach coordinators for Kentucky’s U.S. senators and representatives. U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Haldane Lamberton, adjutant general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, provided an overview of the Guard’s structure and achievements, followed by in-depth presentations on the mission sets of the eight brigades, wings, regiments and training centers that comprise the Kentucky National Guard.

Other briefings covered counter-drug operations; and the State Partnership Program, which pairs the Kentucky Guard with the military organizations of Ecuador and Djibouti for joint information exchange and military cooperation.

The visitors then toured static displays of military equipment, including the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and M142 HIMARS rocket launcher. They also had the opportunity to speak with Soldiers and Airmen about such mission sets as flight medicine, special tactics, explosive ordnance disposal, and aerial port operations undertaken as part of disaster-recovery or contingency-response taskings.

Clark Arnold, a field representative for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, said he appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the Guard in general, and the Kentucky Guard in particular. A former Soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve, Arnold had always been impressed with the professionalism and flexibility of Guard troops when he served alongside them overseas.

“When I was deployed to Afghanistan as a battalion command’s sergeant major, we had six subordinate Military Police companies,” Arnold said. “One was regular Army, two were Army Reserve, and the other three were National Guard companies. My best Soldiers, by far, were in those National Guard companies.

“The breadth of knowledge they had was just incredible. An active-duty or reserve MP knows one thing: How to be an MP. But a National Guard MP may have had three or four (occupational specialties) in his career. Those Soldiers also were very, very close-knit. They’re like family because they grew up together.

“The National Guard is an extremely professional organization,” he continued. “They bring a uniqueness through capabilities that are not replicated anywhere else.”