Wilson, Spears Speak at Forum on State Defense Forces

Jun 3, 2004
Press Release
Today, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and South Carolina Adjutant General Stanhope Spears both addressed a forum held by U.S. Department of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board about the role of State Defense Forces in the War on Terror. Congressman Wilson, a retired Colonel in South Carolina Army National Guard, and Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-Tn.), a Major in the Tennessee State Guard, have introduced, H.R. 2797,The State Defense Force Improvement Act. This bipartisan legislation would improve and expand the state-controlled forces by increasing coordination between State Defense Forces and federal agencies. “I greatly appreciate General Spears taking the time to come to Capitol Hill and speak to military officials and Congressional staff about the important work of State Defense Forces. He talked clearly about how they can help in the War on Terror,” said Congressman Wilson. “There are thousands of dedicated and trained personnel, like those in the South Carolina State Guard, that are an enormous benefit to homeland security efforts at minimal cost to the taxpayers.” H.R. 2797, The State Defense Force Improvement Act, would strengthen the ability of America’s current 22 authorized defense forces to assist in homeland security missions and fill in for National Guard units deployed in federal service, and would encourage states without defense forces to initiate the state-controlled military reserve units. South Carolina boasts one of the most effective current defense forces, the South Carolina State Guard (SCSG). SCSG troops provided voluntary security assistance near the World Trade Center site following the 9-11 attacks in support of the New York Guard, the Empire State’s defense force. Also in attendance at the forum were Congressman Davis, Reserve Forces Policy Board Chairman Al Zapanta, Georgia Adjutant General David Poythress, State Guard Association of the United States President Brigadier General Joel Seymour, Brigadier General John Taylor, National Guard Advisor Lt. Col. Brent Bankus, Dr. James Carafano of The Heritage Foundation, and Retired Col. John R. Brinkerhoff of the U.S. Freedom Foundation. ###