WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter announced that the FY 2010 Defense Appropriations Act, which has passed both the House and the Senate and is now headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes $5 million in funding for the New Hampshire Army National Guard. This funding was requested and secured by Shea-Porter.
“Our New Hampshire National Guard members and their families make enormous sacrifices on behalf of our country,” said Shea-Porter. “With many families facing multiple deployments, providing them with the proper support is more critical than ever.”
A full description of what funding will be used for is below.
Full Cycle Deployment Support Pilot Program $3.2 million
This funding extends and expands the New Hampshire National Guard’s Full Cycle Deployment Support Program, providing services to service members and their families for the full deployment cycle.
In 2008 and 2009, New Hampshire tested a full-cycle deployment pilot to improve support to all NH Reserve and Guard deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan prior to, during, and post deployment. More than 500 service members and their families from all Reserve components in NH accessed this comprehensive service coordination. Each service member/family was assigned a highly skilled care coordinator who functioned as a “quarterback” for the family, helping them plan for deployment and making sure they had access to needed help. Early results show that serious problems are eliminated or mitigated in areas of finances, employment, counseling, childcare, and access to mental health care.
When it is increasingly common for the military to deploy repeatedly, it is important to prevent serious problems and keep service members and families ready to support current and future deployments. The strain on the service member and family caused by repeated deployments directly impacts service members’ ability to focus on and perform their duties. It can also reduce their desire to reenlist. Research shows that the burden placed on the spouse during mobilization is a key driver in retention decisions.
This program enables service members to focus on their important missions, knowing that their families are cared for. Post-deployment, it helps service members better reintegrate with their families, civilian careers, and communities. As a pilot program, this program significantly improved readiness, retention rates, recruit quality, and overall reintegration success.
Joint Command Vehicle and Supporting C3 System $1.8 million
This funding will allow the New Hampshire National Guard to acquire a Joint Command Vehicle with an Interoperable Communications Suite. The National Guard lacks the incident awareness and assessment equipment to provide real-time situational awareness. The various natural disasters of the past several years—repeated severe floods, ice storms, and even a tornado—have highlighted the need for this capability.