Legislature(2007 - 2008)BELTZ 211

04/26/2007 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
<Bill Moved Out of Committee 4/24/07>
Moved CSSB 131(STA) Out of Committee
Moved HB 210 Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HB 210-QUALIFICATIONS OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL                                                                      
9:23:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of HB 210.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  NANCY DAHLSTROM,  Alaska State  Legislature, said                                                               
HB 210  pertains to  the military and  the National  Guard. There                                                               
has been  restructuring and  increased deployment  with increased                                                               
responsibilities. This  legislation allows  the governor  to give                                                               
preference to a  future adjutant general who has  served at least                                                               
five years in  the Alaska Army or Air National  Guard, and the it                                                               
recommends  increasing  the  federally recognized  general  grade                                                               
from major to  lieutenant general, which would mean  going from a                                                               
2-star to a 3-star for an  officer who has qualifications to gain                                                               
federal recognition in active duty  or in retired status. Changes                                                               
are being made at the federal  level and if Alaska's generals are                                                               
not at an equal level with  the generals of the other states they                                                               
may not be able to accomplish as  many things as they need to. HB                                                               
210  encourages respect  from Alaska's  troops because  they know                                                               
their  leader has  walked in  their  steps. The  governor is  not                                                               
diminished in any way. The administration supports it.                                                                          
9:26:49 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BUNDE  asked if the  current adjutant general  would have                                                               
been qualified had this bill been law.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM said yes.                                                                                              
SENATOR GREEN asked about others.                                                                                               
McHUGH PIERRE,  Director, Communications, Department  of Military                                                               
and Veterans Affairs,  said in the past there  have been adjutant                                                               
generals who have  not served in the Alaska  National Guard; they                                                               
have been  active-duty colonels,  but without the  National Guard                                                               
experience the organization didn't benefit as it might have.                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  asked how  many other general  ranks are  in the                                                               
Alaska National Guard.                                                                                                          
MR. PIERRE  said there are  four generals in the  Alaska National                                                               
Guard.   There  is   an  assistant   adjutant  general,   who  is                                                               
essentially the  division director of  the Air and  Army National                                                               
Guard.  There  is  a  one-star general  over  space  and  missile                                                               
defense  who  commands  the  Fort  Greely  troops.  There  is  an                                                               
unfilled position of commander of  the 176 in Anchorage. They are                                                               
all brigadier generals, he noted.                                                                                               
9:29:14 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PIERRE said  going from  two-stars to  three-stars lays  the                                                               
foundation  to move  more swiftly  when Washington  D.C. promotes                                                               
the  National Guard  bureau chief  from a  three-star to  a four-                                                               
star. "That  way our state  can fall in  line and make  that easy                                                               
transition  and have  the  respect in  Washington  D.C. that  the                                                               
other adjutant generals have."                                                                                                  
SENATOR STEVENS asked if this will be a little unusual.                                                                         
MR. PIERRE  said this has  been suggested by the  National Guard.                                                               
When the  bureau chief  moves to four-star,  all of  the adjutant                                                               
generals  who are  in control  of  the national  guards in  every                                                               
state would move  to three-star. The next step is  up to National                                                               
Guard  Bureau,  but   it  will  not  happen   until  the  federal                                                               
government authorizes it.                                                                                                       
9:30:43 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GREEN  moved  to  report  HB  210  from  committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  attached  fiscal note(s).  There                                                               
being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                         

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