Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 120


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01:02:54 PM Start
01:03:07 PM HB247
01:28:00 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
                HB 247-ALASKA NATIONAL GUARD DAY                                                                            
1:03:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SADDLER announced that the  only order of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 247, "An  Act establishing July 30 each year as                                                               
Alaska National Guard Day."                                                                                                     
1:03:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR THOMPSON moved to adopt HB 247 as the working document.                                                                
[There being no objection, HB 247 was before the committee.]                                                                    
1:04:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN referred  committee members  to the  sponsor                                                               
statement and  material in the  committee packet, and  added that                                                               
the  Alaska  National Guard  has  served  citizens and  protected                                                               
their   interests  from   the  snowdrifts   of  Cordova   to  the                                                               
battlefields of  Iraq.   He opined  the legislature  should honor                                                               
the  Guard with  a special  day  of recognition.   Recently,  the                                                               
Guard  sent more  than 50  members, supplies,  and equipment  and                                                               
"answered the  call" from Cordova  which was buried  under record                                                               
snowfall.   This is a typical  response from the Guard;  in fact,                                                               
the 4,000  members of  the Alaska National  Guard are  trained to                                                               
react quickly  and efficiently  in an  emergency and  in disaster                                                               
relief  missions, nationally  if  necessary. Representative  Lynn                                                               
read from  several newspaper headlines to  illustrate the variety                                                               
of services  provided by the Guard.   He advised that  the Alaska                                                               
National  Guard  has  a  presence in  more  than  75  communities                                                               
throughout Alaska and promotes  positive examples and activities,                                                               
such  as  the Alaska  National  Guard  Counterdrug Program.    In                                                               
addition,  since 2003,  approximately  1,500  Guard members  have                                                               
deployed  overseas  in support  of  Operation  Iraqi Freedom  and                                                               
Operation Enduring  Freedom - Afghanistan.   This bill recognizes                                                               
the  value and  dedication  of  the Guard  and  its  role in  the                                                               
economy,  security,  and  overall  well-being of  our  state  and                                                               
country.    Representative  Lynn encouraged  the  legislature  to                                                               
honor the  Guard each year on  July 30, which is  the anniversary                                                               
of its authorization by Congress in 1948.                                                                                       
1:07:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE AUSTERMAN said he was  an ex-Guard member and that                                                               
the bill  is "way past due."   He was  a member of the  Guard for                                                               
seven years  in the  1960s and he  recalled the  Guard's response                                                               
after the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and tidal wave.                                                                           
1:08:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER, as  a co-sponsor  of the  bill, expressed  his                                                               
support.  The  Guard also provides civil  defense work, Operation                                                               
Deep Dig  in Cordova, deploys  overseas and does some  fun things                                                               
too,  for   example,  Operation  Santa  Claus.     Although  this                                                               
legislation  is "somewhat  symbolic" it  will raise  the profile,                                                               
awareness, and morale of the Guard and its work.                                                                                
1:10:05 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MILLER agreed this was a  good way to focus on the                                                               
achievements of the Guard and expressed his support.                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  THOMPSON  pointed out  that  those  employers of  Guard                                                               
members  make the  members' service  possible and  give them  the                                                               
time to train or deploy when needed.                                                                                            
1:11:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CRAIG  CAMPBELL,  President  & Chief  Operating  Officer,  Alaska                                                               
Aerospace  Corporation,   Department  of  Military   &  Veterans'                                                               
Affairs, informed the  committee he is a  former Adjutant General                                                               
of  the Alaska  National Guard  and thanked  the sponsors  of the                                                               
bill.  He stated that the  National Guard is the oldest component                                                               
of the armed services in  the U.S.  This legislation acknowledges                                                               
the unique  characteristic of  the Guard as  a federal  and state                                                               
organization that  is primarily established under  the control of                                                               
a state governor  until mobilized.  The Guard  traces its history                                                               
to 1636  when the first  militia was formed by  the Massachusetts                                                               
Bay Colony.  The  militia - now the National Guard  - is the only                                                               
military with  a dual role  as its mandate includes  the training                                                               
and appointing of  officers by the states,  except when mobilized                                                               
by  the  President  for  federal  service.    In  1947,  Congress                                                               
transformed  the militia  into  the National  Guard,  and it  was                                                               
activated as a  force in 1948.  Today each  state, territory, and                                                               
the  District  of Columbia  have  a  National Guard  organization                                                               
divided into army  and air units, with  total personnel exceeding                                                               
500,000 volunteers.  The Guard  was established for the Territory                                                               
of Alaska in 1939.  Mr.  Campbell provided a short history of the                                                               
Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG).   Following World War II, the Air                                                               
National Guard was  formed, with the first unit  formed in Alaska                                                               
in 1952.  At the present time  there are over 4,000 men and women                                                               
serving   in  the   Alaska  Army   and  Air   National  Guard   -                                                               
predominately  on  a  part-time   basis,  as  volunteer  citizen-                                                               
warriors  -  and Mr.  Campbell  listed  many of  their  missions,                                                               
stressing those  of domestic  support.   He concluded  by stating                                                               
his strong support of HB 247.                                                                                                   
1:18:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK LYNCH,  City Manager,  City of Cordova,  spoke on  behalf of                                                               
the mayor  and vice-mayor of  Cordova.   Mr. Lynch said  that the                                                               
National Guard  was asked  to come to  Cordova during  the recent                                                               
snow emergency.  They quickly  responded and helped the people of                                                               
Cordova  out  of  a  "really  tough spot."    The  community  was                                                               
overwhelmed by  significant snowfall in  a short period  of time,                                                               
and houses were  in danger of collapse.  He  expressed his belief                                                               
that the action  by the Guard saved property  and probably lives.                                                               
Mr. Lynch  urged the committee  and the legislature  to recognize                                                               
the Guard  for its service to  all of the citizens  of the state,                                                               
and especially to the citizens of Cordova.                                                                                      
1:20:41 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER  GIBBINS,  Editor,  The  Cordova  Times,  described  the                                                             
difficult  conditions caused  by  weeks of  snowfall in  Cordova.                                                               
The difficulties became  an emergency in January  with the threat                                                               
of the  collapse of buildings  and homes.   With the help  of the                                                               
U.S. Coast  Guard and the  National Guard, disaster  was averted.                                                               
She relayed that  a Guard member said he was  rewarded by knowing                                                               
that the  Guard had prevented  a disaster from happening.   House                                                               
Bill 247  is important  because it recognizes  the Guard  for its                                                               
service and also  for the example it sets, and  she expressed her                                                               
belief Guard  members have "an  extraordinary ethic  of service."                                                               
Ms. Gibbins stated her support of the bill.                                                                                     
1:23:27 PM                                                                                                                    
TIM JOYCE, Public  Information Officer, City of  Cordova, said he                                                               
was  a  former  mayor  of   Cordova  and  served  as  the  public                                                               
information officer during  the snow emergency.   Mr. Joyce said,                                                               
"I can  personally attest that it  would have been a  disaster of                                                               
much higher scale  if the National Guard had not  mustered out to                                                               
help Cordova in  our time of need."  Cordova  is grateful, and it                                                               
is appropriate for  the state to recognize the  National Guard on                                                               
the date of its founding.   He also agreed with Co-Chair Thompson                                                               
that employers  of Guard members need  to be thanked.   Mr. Joyce                                                               
advised  Cordova  is unified  in  its  support  of  HB 247.    In                                                               
response to a question from  Co-Chair Thompson, Mr. Joyce said no                                                               
fishing boats were  sunk in the harbor, although  some in storage                                                               
were damaged, and a seine tender sank.                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER,  upon  determining   no  one  else  wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
1:26:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR THOMPSON  moved to report  HB 247 out of  committee with                                                               
individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                   
1:27:28 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no objection, HB 247  was reported out of  the House                                                               
Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs.                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 247 Bill History.PDF HMLV 1/24/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 247
HB0247A Copy of Bill.PDF HMLV 1/24/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 247
HB 247 Relevant Statutes.pdf HMLV 1/24/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 247
HB 247 Nat.Guard article.pdf HMLV 1/24/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 247
HB 247 Nat. Guard State Press Releases.PDF HMLV 1/24/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 247
HB 247 Sponsor Statement.pdf HMLV 1/24/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 247
HB 247 MLV fiscal note.pdf HMLV 1/24/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 247
HB 247 DOA Fiscal Note.pdf HMLV 1/24/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 247
HB 247 Lt. General Campbell testimony.pdf HMLV 1/24/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 247