The Louisiana National Guard comprises both Army and Air National Guard components. The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions. In fact, the National Guard is the only United States military force empowered to function in a state status. Those functions range from limited actions during non-emergency situations to full scale law enforcement of Martial law when local law enforcement officials can no longer maintain civil control. The National Guard may be called into federal service in response to a call by the President or Congress.
Currently, there are approximately 11,500 soldiers serving in the Louisiana Army National Guard. The Louisiana National Guard maintains 74 units 43 communities across the state. When National Guard troops are called to federal service, the President serves as Commander-in-Chief. The federal mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide properly trained and equipped units for prompt mobilization for war, National emergency or as otherwise needed."
The Governor may call individuals or units of the Louisiana National Guard into state service during emergencies or to assist in special situations which lend themselves to use of the National Guard. The state mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide trained and disciplined forces for domestic emergencies or as otherwise provided by state law." The State Defense force is a military entity authorized by both the State Code of Louisiana and executive order. The State Defense Force (SDF) is the state’s authorized militia and assumes the state mission of the Louisiana National Guard in the event the Guard is mobilized. The SDF comprises retired active and reserve military personnel and selected professional persons who volunteer their time and talents in further service to their state.
The Louisiana Army National Guard is a component of the United States Army and the United States National Guard. Nationwide, the Army National Guard comprises approximately one half of the US Army's available combat forces and approximately one third of its support organization. National coordination of various state National Guard units are maintained through the National Guard Bureau.
Louisiana Army National Guard units are trained and equipped as part of the United States Army. The same ranks and insignia are used and National Guardsmen are eligible to receive all United States military awards. The Louisiana Guard also bestows a number of state awards for local services rendered in or to the state of Louisiana.
National Guard units can be mobilized at any time by presidential order to supplement regular armed forces, and upon declaration of a state of emergency by the governor of the state in which they serve. Unlike Army Reserve members, National Guard members cannot be mobilized individually (except through voluntary transfers and Temporary DutY Assignments TDY), but only as part of their respective units. However, there have also been some amount of individual activations to support Federal military operations (2001-?).
For much of the final decades of the twentieth century, National Guard personnel typically served "One weekend a month, two weeks a year", with a small portion of each unit working for the Guard in a full-time capacity. New forces formation plans of the US Army were announced in early 2007 modifying the recent (2001-2006) National Guard active duty callup pace. The new plan will nominally anticipate that each National Guard unit (or National Guardsman) will serve one year of active duty for every five years of service. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates imposed "a one-year limit to the length of [Federal deployments] for National Guard Soldiers." Callups by Louisiana authorities for state emergencies are not included in this policy. During OIF III (Operation Iraqi Freedom 3) the 256th Infantry Brigade served a combat tour during 2004-2005. Units of the 225th Engineer Brigade have been mobilized for duty in both Iraq and Afganistan. Additionally, aviation components such as the 1/244th Aviation Helicopter Battalion, 204th Theater Air Operations Group and the 812th Med Company have served in an active capacity for OIF multiple times at one year intervals.
The Louisiana Army National Guard was originally formed in the "18th Century when a militia was formed from among the civilian inhabitants of Colonial Louisiana to assist Royal French and Spanish troops in protecting the colony and preserving the peace" The Militia Act of 1903 organized the various state militias into the present National Guard system.
Many states also maintain their own military forces. These forces are federally recognized, but are separate from the National Guard and are not meant to be federalized, but rather service the state exclusively, especially when the National Guard is deployed and unavailable. Louisiana does maintain a small non-National Guard force for state missions only. These forces usually serve at as support personnel at state military installations; where having support personnel deployed would adversely affect the operational capabilities of the installation.
See History of the United States National Guard for a more complete history of the guard at a national level.
Contract Notice: Department of the Army (Louisiana) Issues Solicitation for "Bobcat Tractors for the Louisiana Army National Guard"
Aug 03, 2012; WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 -- Department of the Army, National Guard Bureau has a requirement for "Bobcat Tractors for the Louisiana...