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U.S. House of Representatives
Wilson, Davis Introduce State Defense Forces Improvement Act
Today, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-TN) introduced the bipartisan State Defense Forces Improvement Act:
“As the War on Terror continues, State Defense Forces are playing an increasingly critical role in ensuring that our communities are prepared to respond to homeland security crises,” said Wilson. “However, without the correct equipment, training and coordination, these capable men and women find it difficult to live up to their full potential. By offering this legislation, we are taking a vital step today to enable State Defense Forces to better protect American families.”
“With the heightened use of our National Guard units, the all volunteer State Guards can play an integral role in supporting homeland security needs, as they did in World Wars I & II,” said Davis. “These very capable and highly motivated forces give our states’ Governors a multi-tiered defense network that provides support services at a very cost-effective price. I look forward to working with Congressman Wilson and my colleagues as we work to find support for this common-sense legislation.”
State Defense Forces are reserved strictly for military duties within their respective states. They supplement and support the National Guard, assist in National Guard mobilizations for federal service, replace Guard units deployed out of state, and are available for homeland security missions.
The State Defense Forces Improvement Act will help ensure that these forces are available to the fullest extent that a Governor chooses to employ them, and to establish a clear protocol on how they are to be coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security efforts and the Department of Defense.
Specifically, the State Defense Forces Improvement Act will:
Recognize the importance of State Defense Forces
Authorize DOD and DHS to coordinate homeland security efforts with and provide training to State Defense Forces
Allow State Defense Forces to receive surplus DOD equipment