Friday, September 11, 2009

Donley highlights Guard members’ contributions, emphasis on ‘total force’ during speech at NGAUS conference

Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, Michael Donley, speaks at the 131st annual National Guard Association of the United States conference, in Nashville, TN, Sept. 11, 2009. Donley told the audience, “Americans live their lives without fear, because of the steadfast commitment and sacrifice of our citizen-soldiers and citizen-airmen.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, National Guard Bureau Public Affairs)

During his opening remarks at the National Guard Association of the United States conference in Nashville, Tennessee today, Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley evoked passages of a speech given earlier in the day by President Obama, marking the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

He quoted the President, saying America’s military “must renew its resolve against those who perpetrated this barbaric attack, and who fight against us still.”

“The work of protecting America is never finished,” Donley added.

Donley said the date of opening ceremony for the 131st NGAUS conference on Sept. 11, 2009 is fitting, given that the National Guard is the original defenders of the homeland, and the first to respond to the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

“You were the first responders to defend America’s skies,” he said. “Americans live their lives without fear, because of the steadfast commitment and sacrifice of our citizen-soldiers and citizen-airmen.”

He thanked the contributions of Guard members and their families for not just their sacrifices but also for balancing their jobs in the National Guard and that of a civilian career.

“It takes a special human being to be able to do this,” Donley said.

“We could not do our work without you,” he continued. “We have shared many successes, and we have spilled blood together.”

Donley also said the success of the nation’s military rests on keeping up with an uncertain enemy and an evolving conflict.

“Our success tomorrow depends on versatility—and this is exemplified by the National Guard,” he said.

During a brief question and answer period, Donley addressed three key issues; recapitalization of the nation’s aging fighter jets, the upcoming request for proposals from contractors who will build the next generation Air Force tanker aircraft, and the emphasis by the Department of Defense on cyber warfare—which is typically an Air Force role.

He said the DoD will focus on production of 1,763 F-35 fighter jets, for both the U.S. Air Force and nine other countries throughout the world. Donley said the worldwide distribution of the fifth-generation fighter will mimic that of the F-16 Falcon.

Donley also said the Air Force and the Department of Defense have put together a strong request for proposal, which they will submit to aircraft manufacturers sometime in late 2009.

“We are going to be fair, and we are going forward with this. Watch this space closely,” he told the audience.

On the Air Force’s cyber-warfare program, Donley said there may be a ‘pause’ in the forward progression to launch a fully-operational division within the Air Force, but the DoD understands the importance of an emphasis on this battle space.

However, members of the National Guard—both Army and Air Force, with their real-world knowledge and experience—are integral to this fight, he said.

Donley told the audience he plans to discuss details of these topics and more, at the Air Force Association’s annual conference, scheduled for October 14-16 in Washington, D.C.

The 131st annual NGAUS conference concludes on Sept. 13.

Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
National Guard Bureau Public Affairs


Kelley said...

We'd like to see more info on the deployment please. Our thoughts and concerns are with our loved ones overseas. Other info is good, but we would like more updates on how/what our soldiers are doing.

Oregon Military Department said...


Thank you for your comments.

The Public Affairs group within Oregon's 41 IBCT has their own blog, located at:

We have a link to their blog off of our official blog.

They also have a Facebook group, located at:

While we do a great job of keeping current with what our fellow soldiers are up to in their deployed location, and strive to make available to our readers and followers news from Iraq, we can only post on our Facebook page and blog what they make available to us for those particular pages.

We will, however, strive to bring you as much current and pertinent information as we possibly can.

I hope this helps!

TSgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office