The National Guard and Reserve Equipment Report: Addressing Shortfalls
The Scope of the Report
The National Guard and Reserve Equipment Report (NGRER) is a statutory requirement that reflects congressional interest in ensuring a well-equipped and robust reserve component capability within the armed forces.
The NGRER identifies major items of equipment in the reserve-component inventories that are important to the services, the Defense Department and Congress, and also outlines how that equipment is being acquired and disposed of by the reserves for the budget year and the two succeeding years. Data on equipment included in the report consist of high-value, mission-essential equipment requirements, critical equipment shortages, service procurements, supplemental funding for the reserve component, and items procured with National Guard and National Guard and Reserve Equipment Appropriation funding.
The fiscal 2008 National Defense Authorization Act directed new equipment reporting requirements for the National Guard’s capability to perform its federal responsibilities (e.g., suppress insurrections, provide assistance in cases of weapons of mass destruction or terrorist attacks, or execute the laws of the United States) in response to an emergency or major disaster.
The Army National Guard is now the best-equipped force in its history, going from 77 percent equipment on-hand four years ago to 91 percent today. The NGRER identified six top areas for equipping the ARNG:
- Modernizing the ARNG helicopter fleet
- Modernize the ARNG tactical wheeled vehicle fleet
- Procure engineer equipment to fill shortfalls in modernization equipment
- Maintain ARNG to no less than 80 percent of critical dual-use equipment
- Improve ARNG command-and-control capability by focusing on fielding Army mission command systems to ARNG brigade combat teams
- Build essential field-level maintenance facilities to effectively repair, service and maintain ARNG equipmen
NGREA funding has been used by the ARNG to successfully mitigate key shortfalls in equipment and modernization efforts. The ARNG has used this funding to help procure systems to enhance homeland and DSCA missions.
The Air National Guard faces significant challenges of modernization and maintaining and sustaining capability. The top equipping challenges identified in the NGRER are:
- Adequate funding for weapons system modernization efforts – identified $8.26B shortfall
- Sustain legacy weapon systems – average age of aircraft is 25 years
Adequate funding for dual-use capabilities to support DSCA and state missions
NGREA has been instrumental for the ANG, helping to execute modernization programs for legacy equipment in order to keep them viable for combatant commanders and in supporting civil authorities.
Air Guard modernization efforts are founded on capability gaps identified by war fighters, who are experts in their respective fields. The result is the Air Guard Weapons Systems Modernization Priorities Book.
The full National Guard and Reserve Equipment Report can be found here.