- Jackson man to cast electoral vote for Trump; others trying to dissuade him (11/29/16)51
- Man killed by vehicle had been charged with domestic assault (11/30/16)
- Hotel chain president: City should regulate short-term lodging (11/27/16)16
- Former Cape council member dies, remembered as 'wonderful public servant' (11/29/16)1
- Woman accused in three robberies disguised herself as man (11/29/16)5
- Post-election taunts reported at Jackson schools (12/2/16)24
- Officers: Delta man dies during domestic dispute (11/28/16)1
- Business notebook: New store shows faith in Scott City district (11/28/16)
- Missouri chamber to honor Cape's John Mehner (11/30/16)6
- Men who pulled father, son from burning car near Naylor honored by highway patrol (12/1/16)
National Guard may need bigger numbers
The Missouri National Guard lacks sufficient manpower to indefinitely carry out the additional duties placed on it by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the state's acting adjutant general said last week.
Acting Adjutant General Dennis Shull said the Guard is fully capable of carrying out the missions it has been asked to perform in recent weeks, but the increasing demands being placed upon it will at some point require an upgrade in troop strength.
(Shull is acting adjutant general because his appointment came this summer following the end of the legislative session, meaning his nomination by the governor hasn't yet been confirmed by the full Senate.)
"If the National Guard is going to become more and more engaged in homeland-defense issues, then we're going to have to be willing to provide some additional force structure," Shull said.
The U.S. Department of Defense determines the size of each state's force. Missouri actually lost some Army Guard units in the mid-1990s, after topping out at 9,681 members in 1991. The state Army Guard's authorized strength is 8,250 members. The Air Guard's authorized strength is 2,502.
About 250 Air Force Guardsmen and a like number of Army Guardsmen from Missouri are on federal duty. Many others are carrying out special duties in the state, such as providing additional security at airports and nuclear power facilities.
Exactly how much manpower the Guard will need in coming years will depend on what role state and federal homeland defense officials want it to play in protecting Missourians from terrorism. These details are continuously evolving. The response of Guardsmen reminds us yet again of how important these Guardsmen are on whom we all rely.