Showing posts with label #NationalGuard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #NationalGuard. Show all posts

Saturday, January 13, 2024

🛡️IMSPARK: Strengthening Domestic Security and Resilience in the Pacific 🛡️

  🛡️Imagine Strengthening Domestic Security and Resilience in the Pacific 🛡️




💡 Imagined Endstate: 

Imagine a future where the National Guard of the United States supports the Pacific Island nations in enhancing their security and resilience against various threats, such as the rise of global security issues, transnational crime, climate change, and natural disasters. 

🔗Link:

📚Source: 

National Guard Association of the United States. (2024, January 3). Guard Supports Defense Strategy, Domestic Missions in 2023. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The National Guard would leverage its dual role as a combat reserve and a domestic responder to assist the Pacific allies in building their defense capacity, disaster preparedness, and community development. 🤝The Pacific region is vital for the U.S. national interests and strategic objectives, such as maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, deterring aggression, and strengthening alliances and partnerships. 🇺🇸The National Guard, with its unique capabilities and experience, can play a key role in advancing the U.S. defense strategy and supporting the domestic missions in the Pacific. By collaborating with the Pacific Island nations, the National Guard would also foster mutual trust, cooperation, and interoperability among the regional partners. 🌊


#globalsecurity, #transnationalcrime,#ClimateChange, and #naturaldisasters,#NationalGuard, #domesticoperations,#IMSPARK, 


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

🎥 IMOA - Imagine Pacific Original Article: (VIDEO)🎥 "Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change"

🎥 IMOA - Imagine Pacific Original Article: (VIDEO)🎥

 "Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change"

🌄Introduction:

Experience the National Guard's transformation in a split-screen animation. Historical images seamlessly evolve into a contemporary force. It emphasizes key points, setting the stage for a compelling narrative.
📅 Evolution of the National Guard:

Depicting the National Guard's shift from a part-time reserve to a vibrant, dynamic force. Each era unfolds with representative imagery, narrating the Guard's evolution.
🦠The COVID-19 Pandemic:

The article portrays National Guard heroes in action during the pandemic - distributing vaccines, conducting tests, and aiding healthcare systems.
⚖️Challenges and Disparities:

Witness the disparities between active duty and National Guard benefits. Scales and side-by-side comparisons use animated elements to spotlight these differences clearly.
🔄Proposed Solutions:
Experience a paradigm shift advocating for reform of career status rules. Watch as positive change unfolds, echoing a brighter future for National Guard members.
🤝Conclusion and Call to Action:
The National Guard remains a ready and reliable operational force. A call to action is made with the need for change that will inevitably make the Guard more ready, reliable, and resilient. inevitably


 #StigmasErased,#equity,#operationalforce,#dynamic,#Evolution,#COVID-19,#NationalGuard,#DisasterResponse,#retirementsecurity,#IMOA,

Saturday, November 11, 2023

⚔️ IMEA: Guarding Sanctuary: Addressing Equity for Guard in Retirement Parity⚔️

 Imagine Pacific Envisioned Analysis (IMEA): 

⚔️ Guarding Sanctuary:

 Addressing Equity for Guard in Retirement Parity⚔️  

💭 I. Imagine...

Visualize a future where National Guard members achieve retirement benefits and parity equivalent to their active-duty counterparts.

💡 II. Imagined Endstate:

Envision a future where Guardsmen engaged in full-time Title 32 missions have the opportunity to accumulate retirement benefits on par with sister services without concerns about being denied sanctuary after 18 years of active duty.

💥 III. What's the Case:

Despite many who have full-time commitments and niche specialized skills, some Guardsmen in Title 32 missions face disparities in securing active-duty retirement benefits compared to their active-duty counterparts. This inequity obstructs their long-term commitment to service and denies them their rightful retirement benefits.
🔎 IV. Consider This:

Explore the unique missions under Title 32 of domestic operations and homeland defense, and how Guardsmen engaged in these missions that are hazardous, year-round and often require multiple active duty tours to accomplish.

Examine the practices and policies that prevent these same Guardsmen from attaining sanctuary or the ability to retire on with an active duty retirement, and how there are obstacles for Guardsmen to attain a 20-year active-duty retirement if they are able to accumulate enough time to retire with an active duty retirement. can

Discuss the imperative of recognizing the National Guard as an operational regular force and granting Guardsmen parity in retirement benefits, disability payments, pension reception, and access to medical care based on their mission requirements. Imagine a future where every Guardsman enjoys parity across all aspects of their service benefits.

📚 V. Research This:

U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2023). VA Disability Benefits: Actions Needed to Address Challenges Reserve Component Members Face Accessing Compensation.

Faumuina, J. E. (2023, November 1). Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change. Imagine Pacific Pulse.

Micronesian veterans struggle to get care. (May 28, 2023). The New York Times

🌍 VI. Impact on Equity:

Addressing equity in retirement benefits for National Guard members ensures that they receive the same rights and privileges as their active-duty counterparts. This paradigm shift recognizes the contributions and sacrifices made by citizen soldiers and provides the necessary support and resources to maintain the highest levels of readiness and effectiveness.

📊 VII. QR Reader Survey:

We invite readers to participate in our QR Reader Survey to better understand the importance of retirement benefits equity for National Guard members. Your insights will contribute to our ongoing advocacy for this cause.

📢 VIII. Call to Action:

We call upon policymakers, military leaders, and the public to advocate for and support changes that ensure equity in retirement benefits for National Guard members engaged in Title 32 missions. This is a matter of fairness and recognition for their dedicated service.

• Leaving a comment on the Imagine Pacific Pulse(www.imagine-pacific.blogspot.com)

• Raising awareness about this issue within your social circles and utilizing the provided QR codes to share this IMEA.

🤝 Conclusion:

In conclusion, recognizing the National Guard as an operational regular force and addressing disparities in retirement benefits is not just a call for change; it's a call to acknowledge the unwavering commitment and sacrifices made by citizen soldiers who take on the mantle of Guardsmen. To ensure a strong, agile, and effective National Guard, a radical systems revision is needed and long overdue to guarantee their equitable retirement benefits and support their long-term commitment to service.


#GuardingGuardsmen,#ServiceParity,#sanctuary,#IMEA,#VeteransTransition,#NationalGuard,#Title32


Friday, November 3, 2023

IMOA: Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change

 

(IMOA)

Imagine Pacific Original Article

"Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change"

By James E. Faumuina, MBA, MPA

Editor - Imagine Pacific Pulse

11/01/2023

Abstract: This article presents a compelling argument for a paradigm shift in the perception and treatment of the National Guard. It advocates for the recognition of the National Guard as a steady-state operational force with equivalent daily requirements for response and operational readiness as the active duty, particularly in relation to its unique Title 32 mission. The argument highlights the disparity in treatment between National Guard members and active duty members in terms of retirement benefits. It points out that National Guard members engaged in full-time Title 32 missions, which are authorized by federal law, should be given the opportunity to accumulate retirement benefits in a manner similar to active duty members. The argument questions why certain National Guard positions are not considered for retirement benefits when they may involve less hazardous or non-direct defense-related tasks compared to active duty positions. It suggests that if there is enough funding to support retirement benefits for active duty members without extensive scrutiny, the same opportunity should be extended to National Guard members to encourage their long-term commitment to service. In analyzing the challenges posed by current career status regulations, the article contends that all service members who can reach 20 TAFMS (Total Active Federal Military Service) should be entitled to do so.

The National Guard has played an indispensable role in the United States military, evolving from a part-time strategic reserve to becoming a force that effectively addresses contemporary challenges. However, the prevailing perception of the National Guard as primarily a strategic reserve has created barriers that hinder its full potential and restrict opportunities for its members. This article argues for a fundamental shift in the perception of the National Guard and advocates for its recognition as an operational regular force. Furthermore, it proposes that Guardsmen should be entitled to retire, if eligible, with a 20-year active duty retirement. It prompts readers to consider why institutional safeguards and gatekeeping procedures prevent rather than enable Guardsmen from attaining this right.

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a significant turning point, highlighting the invaluable contributions of the National Guard in responding to crises (NCLS, 2020). Guard members have been at the forefront, providing essential support in testing, vaccine distribution, and aiding overwhelmed healthcare systems. The nature of the Guard's capabilities has evolved beyond the traditional categorizations of part-time versus full-time service. Their vital role in protecting the nation's well-being renders these outdated perspectives obsolete, as enlistment in the National Guard is now solely based on voluntary means. Retaining highly skilled and qualified warriors has become a pressing concern for the military branches, as experienced leadership is a scarce and coveted resource. Therefore, the retention of human resources, including experienced Guard members, should be treated with the same importance as other resource conservation methods.

The National Guard's indispensability stems from the constitutional requirement for the separation of military and civilian affairs and the management of the state. Posse Comitatus, established to prevent the military from being used as a means of domestic political will, ensures that federal forces are forbidden from enacting domestically militarily unless federalization occurs. Governors serve as the de facto commanders-in-chief of their respective states at times of emergency. In the event of a state of emergency declaration by the Governor, the respective Guard Adjutant General serves as the State’s Commander General. (FEMA, 2017). Moreover, in the recent pandemic response, the National Guard played an integral role in executing this essential homeland defense mission, including protecting national borders, and critical infrastructure, and responding to emergencies and disasters as they are mandated to do by regulation (DODI, 2017). Consistently over the years, these responsibilities have demanded continuous readiness and immediate response capabilities, necessitating the recognition of the National Guard as a force with a capacity that requires its Guardsmen to perform active duty far beyond the set 2 weeks a year, 14 days a year known as the required commitment edict for the reserve forces of the military.

Title 32 missions, authorized by federal law, grant the National Guard the authority to undertake specific continuous missions, such as cyber defense, counter-drug operations, and disaster response (U.S. Department of Defense, 2020). These missions often require full-time engagement and specialized skills that only the National Guard can provide. Guard members who are fortunate enough to attain one of the few treasured active duty positions under the Active/Guard and Reserve (AGR) program are granted equivalent privileges as the active duty uniformed members serving under Title-10 (federal) status.

There is a robust operational mission being conducted by the National Guard actively every day. However, underneath this vested importance is a conventional logic limiting Guardsmen that needs to be challenged. The Guard encompasses any and every AFSC/MOS (Air Force Specialty Code/Military Occupational Specialty) as active duty. In contrast, there are unique missions in the Guard that require niche units like the CERFP. As it stands today, not every Guardsman in these programs can attain a 20-year retirement unless they are in the AGR program. It is unjust that every Active Duty member can attain 20 years of service, regardless of whether their jobs involve hazards or direct defense of the homeland, while Guardsmen, specifically in programs like the CERFP, are being forced to cut their orders when they approach the cut-line of 18 years, at which time they would be entitled to receive a 20-year retirement.  

It is a fruitless and dangerous debate to compare positions based on perceived importance, and that is not the intent of this argument. A more productive rationale would be to consider how the active duty finds it sufficient, without any need for justification, for every position to warrant retirement without scrutiny. If there is no issue with granting this privilege to Active Duty members, then why can't Guardsmen, with the caveat they can attain 20 years of active duty, enjoy the same benefit? What is the harm in a Guardsman piecing together their Active Duty service in order to reach a 20-year Active Duty retirement?

It all revolves around the concept of “sanctuary” and how it is used as a tool to hinder Guardsmen from attaining the same rights and privileges that every active duty member has in obtaining an active duty retirement. As mentioned earlier with the CERFP, a preventative practice being conducted is the curtailment of orders based on proximity to 20 TAFMS (Total Active Federal Military Service) when they get close to sanctuary, essentially preventing them from ever attaining the coveted 20 year active duty retirement. (U.S. Department of Defense, 2019). This practice of creating barriers to attaining 20TAMFS restricts Guard members from attaining career status and the associated benefits.

By enabling Guardsmen to reach 20 TAFMS, regardless of their part-time or full-time status, and based on mission requirements and resource availability, we can effectively address and alleviate the challenges and inequities they face. This proposed change to the career status rules not only addresses the inherent injustices within the system but also enhances the operational readiness of the National Guard. This paradigm shift also aligns with the evolving nature of military operations and the need for flexible and integrated forces to tackle contemporary challenges. Recognizing the full-time commitment of Guard members will go a long way in ensuring they have access to the necessary resources, support, and career opportunities, enabling them to maintain the highest levels of readiness and effectiveness.

In conclusion, the time has come for a transformative shift in the way we perceive and treat the National Guard. The Guard, once considered a strategic reserve, has proven itself to be an indispensable force in our modern world. The COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic wildfires in Maui have demonstrated the vital role Guard members play in safeguarding our nation's well-being and security. They are no longer simply part-time soldiers but dedicated professionals, ready to respond to crises at a moment's notice.

This article has attempted to make a case for recognizing the National Guard as an operational regular force. It argues that Guardsmen, engaged in full-time Title 32 missions, should have the opportunity to accumulate retirement benefits, just like their active-duty counterparts. It questions why certain Guard positions are denied retirement benefits, even when their roles may be less hazardous or defense-related than active-duty positions.

The solution is simple: we must reform the career status rules to allow Guardsmen, based on mission requirements, to reach the 20-year active-duty retirement threshold. This change addresses not only the inherent injustices within the system but also enhances the National Guard's operational readiness. Again and again, the National Guard has served as a linchpin of our national security and community resilience. It goes without saying that they deserve the same rights and privileges as their active-duty counterparts. This paradigm shift will not only ensure the Guard's long-term commitment to service but also provide the necessary support and resources to maintain the highest levels of readiness.

The time has come to recognize and invest properly in the Guard's proven value and unwavering reliability. This is not just a call for change; it's a call to acknowledge the unwavering commitment and sacrifices made by citizen soldiers who take on the mantle of Guardsmen. To ensure a strong, agile, and effective National Guard that is prepared to meet today's demands, and those that will be even more demanding in the future, a radical systems revision is needed and unabashedly long overdue.

James is the owner of Imagine Pacific Enterprises and the Editor of Imagine Pacific Pulse (IMPULSE). He is a retired Lt Col, Hawaii Air National Guard. Former medical administrator, planner, program manager, and operations officer. Graduated from the USAF Air War College and is a graduate student at the University of Hawaii studying Disabilities Studies and Diversity. He can be contacted at jamesefa@hawaii.edu. 

Keywords:#NationalGuard, #paradigmshift, #recognition, #operationalforce, #Title32,#COVID-19,# pandemic,#careerstatus,# homelanddefense,#20-yearretirement,#equity,#readiness,#citizensoldiers,# systemschange,#IMOA,

References:

NCLS. (2020). National Guard Response to COVID-19. Retrieved from [insert URL]

U.S. Department of Defense. (2019). ANGI36-101, Air National Guard Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program. Retrieved from [insert URL]

U.S. Department of Defense. (2020). U.S. Code Title 32, Chapter 1 - Organization. Retrieved from [insert URL]

(1)NIMS: https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07/fema_nims_doctrine-2017.pdf

(2) Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/302522p.pdf

Friday, July 28, 2023

💥IMEA COFA SUPPORT NOW! - (VIDEO)💥


🌍 IMEA: Imagine Pacific Envisioned Analysis | To Pay the Price: The Case for Investing in the Future of COFA Now! 💼



In this video episode of Imagine Pacific Envisioned Analysis (IMEA), we explore the pressing challenges faced by the Compact of Free Association (COFA) Nations and advocate for transformative investments in their future. 🏝️ 🤝 Join us as we envision a brighter future for the Pacific region through cultivating sustainable partnerships with entities like the Hawaii National Guard, State of Hawaii Department of Health, DOD, University of Hawaii, and the VA. 🌐 💡 IMAGINE a future where Micronesians have access to essential healthcare services and a supportive system that recognizes and maximizes their community assets. By fostering strategic engagements, research, and community-based initiatives, we aim to empower the COFA region to thrive and build resiliency. 🌱 💥 Learn about the critical case for investing in the COFA nations, facing an existential climate crisis, economic disparities, and challenges in providing healthcare to Micronesian veterans. Despite their rich heritage, they rank among the world's poorest nations. 🏞️ 🔍 EXPLORE the challenges faced by Micronesian veterans in accessing healthcare, the impacts of climate change on vulnerable island states, and the urgent need to address health disparities in Hawaii. 🏥 📚 FURTHER RESEARCH is essential in advancing economic cooperation, leveraging the State Partnership Program, addressing healthcare disparities, and engaging in climate-focused field research. 📝 🌏 DISCOVER the potential impact of strategic partnerships, including Pacific region stability, climate change adaptation, infrastructural development, and the reduction of healthcare disparities. 🌊 📊 Participate in our QR Reader Survey to share your insights on the challenges faced by Micronesian veterans and help us work towards viable solutions. 📲 📢 Join us in advocating for justice and equal access to healthcare for Micronesian veterans by leaving comments, writing letters, and raising awareness about this critical issue. 📝 🎬 Watch this thought-provoking IMEA episode and support a thriving COFA future, accessible resources, and a model of sustainability for the world. Don't forget to like and subscribe! 🎥

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

IMEA - COFA VETS - REEL 2

IMEA: To Pay the Price: The Case for Investing in the Future of COFA Now!

 IMEA: To Pay the Price: The Case for Investing in the Future of COFA Now!


💭 I. Imagine...

Cultivating new and vibrant sustainment partnerships via stakeholder collaborations in the Compact of Free Association (COFA) Nations with entities such as the Hawaii National Guard, the State of Hawaii Department of Health, DOD, the University of Hawaii, and the VA 🌍

II. Imagined Endstate:

Imagine a future where Micronesians have access to essential healthcare services and a supportive system that recognizes and maximizes their organic community assets. Through strategic engagements, research, and developing community-based assets collaborative partnerships and engagements could empower the region to further its resiliency and thrive.

III.💥 What's the Case:

The COFA nations are facing a convergence of critical challenges, and an international transformative and all-encompassing approach to investing in their future becomes imperative. These nations find themselves at the crossroads of an existential climate crisis, grappling with extreme vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Despite their rich cultural heritage and resilience, they rank among the poorest per capita nations in the world, confronting economic disparities that hinder their growth and development. Furthermore, the geographic separation from the United States has left many Micronesian veterans unseen, and deprived of the care they are entitled to as US veterans. Finally, there is a historical indebtedness by the countries who conducted atomic testing for over a decade, they hold some accountability for the aftermath effect on the region's vulnerable population.

🔎 IV. Consider This:

Challenges Faced by Micronesian Veterans: Micronesian veterans encounter numerous obstacles in accessing healthcare despite their dedicated service. The limited capacity in U.S. military hospitals in Hawaii often leaves many veterans without the medical attention they deserve. Additionally, the high cost of healthcare and complexities surrounding health insurance further hinder their access to essential medications and treatments, adding to the burden they bear after serving their nation. (Blair, 2017)

🌊 Impacts of Climate Change: The adverse impacts of climate change pose significant threats to vulnerable island states like the COFA nations. Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and environmental degradation are some of the challenges these nations face, putting their very existence at risk. (Rasmussen, 2022)

Health Disparities in Hawaii: A study by the East-West Center showed that Micronesians had significantly worse Severity of Illness (SOI) for various health-related hospitalizations, emphasizing the need for support to address disparities (Hagiwara, 2016)

📈 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reported more than $1 billion in costs associated with providing service to Micronesians for Hawaii and adjoining Pacific U.S. Territories (Rights, 2019)

💪 SPP's Role in Theater Security: The State Partnership Program (SPP) plays a crucial role in bolstering theater security and stability in the Pacific region. The SPP's efforts in building partnerships can serve as a strategic counterbalance to their growing influence and help ensure the long-term stability and development of the COFA nations (Rimando, 2023).

📚 V. Research This:

          1. Garamone, J. (2023). Economic Cooperation and the State Partnership Program.
          2. Blair, C. (March 1, 2017). Lawmakers Urge Medical Help For Micronesian Veterans. Civil Beat.
          3. Brewington, L., Kokame, K., & Lewis, N. (2021). Global Health Engagement in the Pacific Region.
          4. Hagiwara, M. K. (2016). Healthcare Disparities Among Micronesian Veterans.
          5. United States Commission on Civil Rights. (2019).
          6. Rasmussen, E., Nakano, G., Kabua, S., & Hatoum, A. (2022). Climate-Focused Field Research within the Kwajalein Atoll Sustainability Laboratory.
          7. IMSPARK: Communities Combat Climate Crisis, July 25, 2023, Imagine Pacific Pulse
          8. IMEA: Imagine Pacific Envision Analysis - Healthcare for Micronesian Veterans, June 30, 2023, Imagine Pacific Pulse
          9. IMSPARK: Imagine Equal Care for COFA, June 26, 2023, Imagine Pacific Pulse
          10. IMOA: SPP and COFA, Match Made in the Pacific, July 24, 2023, Rimando, M., Imagine Pacific Pulse

🌍 VI. Impact on Pacific:

Here are the following impacts partnerships and engagements could provide if pursued:

        1. Pacific Region Stability: As near-peer competitor nations expand their influence in the Pacific, it becomes increasingly vital for the United States to strategically prioritize its engagement with COFA countries. The SPP's proactive efforts in building and strengthening partnerships can serve as an essential counterbalance, preserving the sovereignty and security of the region. By fostering enduring relationships, the SPP facilitates an environment where COFA nations can confidently navigate diplomatic complexities and maintain their independence in a changing geopolitical landscape.
        2. Climate Change Adaptation: Vulnerable island states, such as the COFA nations, face unprecedented challenges from the adverse impacts of climate change. Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and environmental degradation pose significant threats to their very existence. Organizations like the Kwajalein Atoll Sustainment Laboratory (KASL) and the University of Hawaii could foster focus on environmental protection and sustainability, serving as a valuable resource, and facilitating knowledge sharing and technical assistance.
        3. Infrastructural Development: The COFA nations' economic vulnerability necessitates international support and cooperation for sustainable development. Through a program like the SPP, the National Guard could offer expertise and resources in critical areas such as disaster response, healthcare, education, and organizational capacity building. In leveraging the resources and experiences of both the National Guard and partner organizations like the Department of Health, and Emergency Management Agency, strategic partnerships become vehicles to unlock potential, facilitate growth, reduce dependence, and foster sustainable progress in the Pacific.
        4. Reduce Healthcare Disparities: Global health engagements hold promise for addressing healthcare disparities in the COFA nations. By tapping into the National Guard's and University of Hawaii's expertise in both the medical logistical and telehealth, through medical engagements they could contribute to enhancing Micronesia's preparedness and response mechanisms. Specifically, efforts to mitigate the Severity of Illness (SOI) for various health-related hospitalizations in Micronesia through the SPP can lead to a more equitable and robust healthcare system.

📊 VII. QR Reader Survey: 

To better understand the challenges faced by Micronesian veterans and work towards viable solutions, we invite readers to participate in our QR Reader Survey. Your valuable insights and experiences will help us better understand the issues at hand. Please note that participation in the survey is voluntary and for the purpose of gaining a general assessment of the reader's impression of the IMEA. It is not intended for scientific purposes.


 📢 VII. Call to Action: 

Imagine Pacific is in support of the COFA Veterans and asks that readers who feel the same consider joining us in advocating for justice and equal access to healthcare for Micronesian veterans. You can support this cause by: 

• Leaving a comment on the Imagine Pacific Pulse(www.imagine-pacific.blogspot.com

• Sending a letter to the Editor: https://www.staradvertiser.com/editorial/submit-letter/ 

• Reaching out to your local representatives and urging them to support legislation 

• Raising awareness about this issue within your social circles and utilizing the provided QR codes to share this IMEA.

🤝 VIII. Conclusion: 

Investing in the future of COFA nations requires transformative efforts encompassing equitable healthcare access, economic development, climate change resilience, and recognition of historical consequences. Partnerships contribute to Pacific stability amid geopolitical competition, empowering COFA nations to preserve sovereignty. Addressing healthcare disparities, climate change adaptation, and infrastructural development are vital. Collaborative efforts unlock potential, ensuring the well-being of COFA communities and fostering resilience. Let's work towards a thriving COFA future, accessible resources, and a model of sustainability for the world.


Monday, July 24, 2023

IMOA: SPP and COFA, Match Made in the Pacific

(IMOA) Imagine Pacific Original Article 




SPP and COFA, Match Made in the Pacific

By Lt. Col. Marlon Rimando, MD

Hawaii Air National Guard

Imagine Pacific Pulse    7/24/2023


In recognition of its 30th anniversary, it’s fitting that the United States Department of Defense's State Partnership Program (SPP) is poised more than ever to conduct capacity-building and empowering engagements in the Pacific (United States Department of Defense, n.d.)[1]. One such area where this could occur is between the National Guard and the Compact of Free Association (COFA) nations, including the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. In fostering relationships and promoting security cooperation, the SPP can play a pivotal role in addressing the unique challenges faced by these Pacific island nations.

One of the primary interests in the region is the increasing influence of near-peer competitor nations (Asian Bureau of Research, 2017)[2]. As they expand their economic and diplomatic ties with the COFA nations, it becomes essential for the United States to prioritize its engagement with these countries. The SPP's efforts in building partnerships can serve as a strategic counterbalance to their growing influence and help ensure the long-term stability and development of the COFA nations.

Climate change is another pressing issue that profoundly affects the COFA nations. Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and environmental degradation pose significant threats to these vulnerable island states (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, 2022)[3]. The SPP's focus on environmental protection and sustainability can facilitate knowledge sharing and technical assistance in climate resilience and resource management, empowering the COFA nations to tackle climate-related challenges more effectively.

Moreover, the COFA nations' economic status could benefit from international support and cooperation. Through the SPP, U.S. states can provide expertise and resources in areas such as disaster response, healthcare, education, and economic development (Garamone, 2023)[4]. Working together by utilizing apparatus such as the SPP program, the COFA nations can access critical support to address their economic vulnerabilities and foster stronger, more resilient communities.

Furthermore, the SPP's emphasis on global health engagement offers significant potential for the COFA nations. The National Guard's experience in responding to public health emergencies can be leveraged to help Micronesia prepare for and respond to health crises, enhancing its capacity to address health challenges effectively (Brewington, Kokame, & Lewis, 2021)[5]. A study by the East-West Center showed that Micronesians had significantly worse Severity of Illness (SOI) for various health-related hospitalizations, emphasizing the need for support to address disparities (Hagiwara, 2016)[6]. Here is a perfect example where a program like the SPP could and should make a difference.

In conclusion, the State Partnership Program holds immense promise as a platform for building resilience in the COFA nations and promoting lasting relationships between U.S. states and these Pacific allies. Coincidently, the benefit is mutual with development capacity in COFA nations and preventative measures in the United States, as the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reported more than $1 billion in costs associated with providing service to Micronesians for Hawaii and adjoining Pacific U.S. Territories (Rights, 2019)[7]. As the region faces growing geopolitical competition and climate change impacts, the SPP's role in fostering enduring partnerships takes on even greater significance. Strengthening ties and promoting shared goals, the SPP can contribute to a more comprehensive and coordinated U.S. approach in the Pacific, ensuring long-term sustainability and development in the region.

Lt Col Rimando is a graduate of the USAF Air War College and served on numerous State Partnership Program and Global Health Engagements with PACAF, the Hawaii Air National Guard, and the Hawaii National Guard. He is a Flight Surgeon, currently serving as the HING Task Force CBRNE Surgeon for the CERFP. He also works as a MEB Physician with Tripler Army Medical Center.


[1] United States Department of Defense. (n.d.). State Partnership Program.

[2]  National Bureau of Asian Research. (2017). China's Belt and Road Initiative in the Pacific Islands: Assessment of key economic issues and priorities.

[3] Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. (2020). Communiqué of the 51st Pacific Islands Forum.

[4] Garamone, J. (July 19, 2023). Milley Touts Successes of Guard's State Partnership Program. DOD News.

[5] Brewington, L., Kokame, K., & Lewis, N. (2021). A Changing Climate and Its Implications for Health and Migration in the Pacific: Examples from the Marshall Islands. East-West Center.

[6] Hagiwara, M. K. (2016). Health disparities among Micronesians in Hawaii. Hawaii Journal of Medicine & Public Health, 75(11), 325-329.

[7] United States Commission on Civil Rights. (2019). Separate and Unequal: Federal Protections and Enforcement in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau.

 


Saturday, July 22, 2023

🌊IMSPARK: Imagine... CIV-MIL Engagement and Capacity Building in the Pacific 🌊

🌊IMSPARK: Imagine... CIV-MIL Engagement and Capacity Building in the Pacific 🌊

🤝Imagined Endstate:

The Pacific region thrives with robust engagement and capacity building initiatives, fostering strong partnerships and empowering nations to address common challenges. Collaborative efforts transform the Pacific into a hub of innovation, resilience, and sustainable development.

🔗 Link:                             

                                          National Guard - State Partnership Program: 30 Years of Success

📚 Source:                          

                                            Jim Garamone, DOD News (Date: July 14, 2023)

What's the Big Deal:

💪The National Guard's State Partnership Program (SPP) marks a momentous milestone, commemorating 30 years of successful engagements, exercises, and support to nations worldwide. Originally starting with just 13 countries, the program has now expanded to encompass over 100 nations, making it a cornerstone of U.S. strategy to engage with allies and partners. 🌐 The SPP builds enduring relationships, fostering trust and shared experiences between Guardsmen and their counterparts. These connections have facilitated joint training, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response efforts. Remarkably, the program's budget constitutes only 1% of the nation's security cooperation budget but generates 20 to 30% of combatant commands' touch points or engagements, proving its efficiency in promoting global peace, stability, and prosperity.

                                                

                                               #NationalGuard,#StatePartnershipProgram, 

                                                #GlobalHealthEngagement, #Collaboration

 


💰IMSPARK: Equitable Foundations: Building Homeownership Dreams in the Pacific💰

  💰Imagine... Equitable Foundations:  Building Homeownership Dreams in the Pacific💰 💡 Imagined Endstate:   A future where Pacific communi...