No. 301
Session of
J. WARD, MAY 29, 2024
1 Designating June 4, 2024, as "National Guard and Veterans Day"
2 in Pennsylvania.
3 WHEREAS, In 1747, Benjamin Franklin organized the Associators
4 in Philadelphia; and
5 WHEREAS, Units of today's Pennsylvania National Guard trace
6 their lineage to the first Associators; and
7 WHEREAS, In 1755, the General Assembly of the Province of
8 Pennsylvania received a great number of petitions from the
9 several counties of the province "setting forth, That the
10 Petitioners are very willing to defend themselves and their
11 Country, and desirous of being formed into regular Bodies for
12 that Purpose, instructed and disciplined under proper Officers,
13 with suitable and legal Authority"; and
14 WHEREAS, In response to these petitions, the representatives
15 of the Province of Pennsylvania, meeting in General Assembly,
16 passed this Commonwealth's first militia law on November 25,
17 1755; and
1 WHEREAS, The Militia Act, passed "for the better Ordering and
2 Regulating such as are willing and desirous to be united for
3 Military Purposes within this Province," created the volunteer
4 militia and laid the legal foundation for the militia and the
5 Pennsylvania National Guard; and
6 WHEREAS, Enactment of the Militia Act marked the beginning of
7 269 years of cooperation and support from the General Assembly
8 for the Pennsylvania Militia, the Pennsylvania National Guard
9 and the soldiers and airmen who proudly serve this Commonwealth
10 and this nation; and
11 WHEREAS, In war and in peace, Pennsylvania National Guard
12 soldiers and airmen have served at home and abroad and have
13 responded to floods, blizzards and other emergencies at home;
14 and
15 WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania National Guard force reaches from
16 the Joint Force Headquarters located at Fort Indiantown Gap,
17 Lebanon County, to communities across this Commonwealth with 86
18 readiness centers, 17 maintenance facilities, 2 Army aviation
19 support facilities and 4 Air National Guard facilities; and
20 WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania National Guard is one of the top 10
21 employers in this Commonwealth; and
22 WHEREAS, Approximately 3,800 Pennsylvania National Guard
23 members serve in a full-time capacity; and
24 WHEREAS, The remaining 17,000 Pennsylvania National Guard
25 members serve as traditional part-time members who train while
26 pursuing civilian education or careers; and
27 WHEREAS, For the third time in the last four years, Fort
28 Indiantown Gap was the busiest National Guard training center in
29 the country; and
30 WHEREAS, During fiscal year 2023, which ended September 30,
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1 the installation hosted 139,391 personnel for a total of 858,523
2 man-days; and
3 WHEREAS, Man-days are a computation of the number of
4 personnel multiplied by the number of days they trained on post;
5 and
6 WHEREAS, The 166th regiment was the number one Army National
7 Guard Training Institute in the country during fiscal year 2023
8 with a training throughput of 6,179 and economic impact of $27.5
9 million to the Commonwealth; and
10 WHEREAS, The 166th regiment trained 27,907 Army Service
11 Members from fiscal years 2018 through 2023; and
12 WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania National Guard is one of the
13 largest National Guard forces in the nation; and
14 WHEREAS, The 28th Infantry Division is the oldest
15 continuously serving division in the United States Army; and
16 WHEREAS, The 28th Infantry Division is celebrating the 80th
17 anniversary of their unmatched valor in the Hürtgen Forest,
18 where they disrupted the German counter-offensive during the
19 Battle of the Bulge and played a critical role in liberating
20 Colmar, France, from the grip of the German military; and
21 WHEREAS, The 213th Regional Support Group is the Pennsylvania
22 National Guard's second major army unit that handles combat
23 support missions, including transportation, finance and
24 personnel services; and
25 WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania Air National Guard is comprised of
26 the 111th Attack Wing for air support and MQ-9 Reaper ground
27 control, the 171st Air Refueling Wing for worldwide aerial
28 refueling and the 193rd Special Operations Wing for special
29 operation missions; and
30 WHEREAS, In times of war, national or state emergency or in
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1 support of any military operation worldwide, the President of
2 the United States may mobilize units of the National Guard into
3 active Federal service; and
4 WHEREAS, The active Federal service of the Pennsylvania
5 National Guard has included engagement in every conflict this
6 nation has faced, from the Revolutionary War through the Global
7 War on Terror, and in peacekeeping missions around the globe;
8 and
9 WHEREAS, In peacetime, the Pennsylvania National Guard offers
10 broad support to the civilian community through the Pennsylvania
11 Counterdrug Joint Task Force (CJTF); and
12 WHEREAS, CJTF provides trained personnel and specialized
13 equipment to assist State and local law enforcement agencies in
14 the fight against the use of illegal drugs and disposal of
15 drugs; and
16 WHEREAS, Pennsylvania National Guard members serve as role
17 models, community volunteers and civic leaders throughout this
18 Commonwealth; and
19 WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania National Guard's outstanding
20 performance was on display in 2023 when 107 soldiers deployed to
21 the Southwest border, supporting the United States Border Patrol
22 in domestic operations; and
23 WHEREAS, During this time, the National Guard oversaw
24 domestic operations conducted by more than 3,500 National
25 Guardsmen from 16 states, covering approximately 2,000 miles of
26 United States and Mexico border; and
27 WHEREAS, In 2023-2024, the Pennsylvania National Guard
28 responded to eight requests for support through the Pennsylvania
29 Emergency Management Agency, responding to wildfires in
30 Pennsylvania and Maui, Hawaii; Operation Sudden Torrent where
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1 aviation assets responded to flooding in southeastern
2 Pennsylvania; as well as the deployment of the Pennsylvania
3 National Guard Cyber Team to support Bucks County following a
4 cyber hacking on their systems; and
5 WHEREAS, In 2023, approximately 2,000 Pennsylvania National
6 Guard members deployed in support of ongoing contingency and
7 force protection operations in Kuwait, the Horn of Africa,
8 Romania and other locations; and
9 WHEREAS, In 2023, the Pennsylvania National Guard celebrated
10 the 30-year anniversary of its partnership with Lithuania; and
11 WHEREAS, In 1993, Pennsylvania was one of the first three
12 states to participate in the State Partnership for Peace Program
13 and since its inception, the Pennsylvania National Guard has
14 completed more than 750 engagements with Lithuania, including
15 joint/combined deployments to Afghanistan; and
16 WHEREAS, The 193rd Special Operations Wing of the
17 Pennsylvania Air National Guard was awarded the coveted
18 Distinguished Flying Unit Plaque by the National Guard
19 Association in 2022; and
20 WHEREAS, The 111th Attack Wing, Pennsylvania Air National
21 Guard received the Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award for
22 2022; and
23 WHEREAS, Wing personnel were graded 100% effective overall in
24 all major areas in the Unit Effectiveness Inspection,
25 effectively managing and allocating all Higher Headquarters
26 resources, improving the unit and executing the mission while
27 sustaining combat operation; and
28 WHEREAS, With nearly 700,000 veterans, this Commonwealth has
29 one of the largest veteran populations in the country; and
30 WHEREAS, Veterans thrive in their community, helping and
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1 motivating the younger generations; and
2 WHEREAS, Veterans continue to serve the Commonwealth through
3 government service, entrepreneurship and industry and have
4 higher workforce participation than nonveterans; and
5 WHEREAS, These devoted individuals who have served in the
6 armed forces of the United States provide living proof that
7 bravery is not a quality nor an end in itself, but rather can be
8 a brief moment or perhaps a lifetime of selfless service; and
9 WHEREAS, Families and friends of wounded and injured veterans
10 are called upon to provide care and these hidden heroes also
11 serve our Commonwealth with their sacrifices; and
12 WHEREAS, Pennsylvania leads the nation in serving veterans
13 with the innovative PA VETConnect program, recipient of the
14 Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence Award from the United
15 States Department of Veterans Affairs; and
16 WHEREAS, PA VETConnect is a community-based outreach
17 initiative to build relationships and find resources that will
18 assist veterans and their advocates; and
19 WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania National Guard continues to evolve
20 with the Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy (KSCA) at Fort
21 Indiantown Gap, serving high school students between 16 and 18
22 years of age struggling in traditional school settings; and
23 WHEREAS, Since its start in July 2022, KSCA has graduated 60
24 students from 44 cities across 24 counties; and
25 WHEREAS, Of these, 20 cadets earned their GED, and others
26 averaged 43.4 credits through credit recovery, enabling them to
27 graduate or return to high school; and
28 WHEREAS, Additionally, 25 cadets resumed high school, 5
29 enrolled in college, 5 joined the armed services and 16 secured
30 employment; and
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1 WHEREAS, This year's theme, "Together We Serve: Past,
2 Present, Future" pays tribute to our citizens, soldiers and
3 airmen of the Pennsylvania National Guard, veterans of all
4 services and components who have served and their families; and
5 WHEREAS, We honor these men and women for their dedication
6 and service that has led to the distinction of Pennsylvania
7 having one of the most successful National Guards across our
8 great country; and
9 WHEREAS, The continued support of the General Assembly
10 remains critical to the success of the Pennsylvania National
11 Guard; therefore be it
12 RESOLVED, That the Senate designate June 4, 2024, as
13 "National Guard and Veterans Day" in Pennsylvania; and be it
14 further
15 RESOLVED, That the Senate recognize the men and women of our
16 armed forces for their dedicated service to this Commonwealth
17 and this nation and commend them for the outstanding performance
18 of their duties around the world and in response to domestic
19 emergencies; and be it further
20 RESOLVED, That the Senate give thanks for the Pennsylvania
21 National Guard and the service of generations of soldiers and
22 airmen across Pennsylvania from our days as a proprietary colony
23 to the great Commonwealth we are today; and be it further
24 RESOLVED, That the Commonwealth is committed to honoring and
25 caring for veterans and their families as key members of our
26 communities who often continue to serve and contribute to the
27 State; and be it further
28 RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to
29 the Governor and the Adjutant General.
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