PRINTER'S NO. 1652
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE RESOLUTION
No.
301
Session of
2024
INTRODUCED BY MASTRIANO, BARTOLOTTA, BROOKS, BROWN, CULVER,
FONTANA, HUGHES, HUTCHINSON, LANGERHOLC, MARTIN, ROTHMAN AND
J. WARD, MAY 29, 2024
REFERRED TO RULES AND EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS, MAY 29, 2024
A RESOLUTION
Designating June 4, 2024, as "National Guard and Veterans Day"
in Pennsylvania.
WHEREAS, In 1747, Benjamin Franklin organized the Associators
in Philadelphia; and
WHEREAS, Units of today's Pennsylvania National Guard trace
their lineage to the first Associators; and
WHEREAS, In 1755, the General Assembly of the Province of
Pennsylvania received a great number of petitions from the
several counties of the province "setting forth, That the
Petitioners are very willing to defend themselves and their
Country, and desirous of being formed into regular Bodies for
that Purpose, instructed and disciplined under proper Officers,
with suitable and legal Authority"; and
WHEREAS, In response to these petitions, the representatives
of the Province of Pennsylvania, meeting in General Assembly,
passed this Commonwealth's first militia law on November 25,
1755; and
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WHEREAS, The Militia Act, passed "for the better Ordering and
Regulating such as are willing and desirous to be united for
Military Purposes within this Province," created the volunteer
militia and laid the legal foundation for the militia and the
Pennsylvania National Guard; and
WHEREAS, Enactment of the Militia Act marked the beginning of
269 years of cooperation and support from the General Assembly
for the Pennsylvania Militia, the Pennsylvania National Guard
and the soldiers and airmen who proudly serve this Commonwealth
and this nation; and
WHEREAS, In war and in peace, Pennsylvania National Guard
soldiers and airmen have served at home and abroad and have
responded to floods, blizzards and other emergencies at home;
and
WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania National Guard force reaches from
the Joint Force Headquarters located at Fort Indiantown Gap,
Lebanon County, to communities across this Commonwealth with 86
readiness centers, 17 maintenance facilities, 2 Army aviation
support facilities and 4 Air National Guard facilities; and
WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania National Guard is one of the top 10
employers in this Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, Approximately 3,800 Pennsylvania National Guard
members serve in a full-time capacity; and
WHEREAS, The remaining 17,000 Pennsylvania National Guard
members serve as traditional part-time members who train while
pursuing civilian education or careers; and
WHEREAS, For the third time in the last four years, Fort
Indiantown Gap was the busiest National Guard training center in
the country; and
WHEREAS, During fiscal year 2023, which ended September 30,
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the installation hosted 139,391 personnel for a total of 858,523
man-days; and
WHEREAS, Man-days are a computation of the number of
personnel multiplied by the number of days they trained on post;
and
WHEREAS, The 166th regiment was the number one Army National
Guard Training Institute in the country during fiscal year 2023
with a training throughput of 6,179 and economic impact of $27.5
million to the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, The 166th regiment trained 27,907 Army Service
Members from fiscal years 2018 through 2023; and
WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania National Guard is one of the
largest National Guard forces in the nation; and
WHEREAS, The 28th Infantry Division is the oldest
continuously serving division in the United States Army; and
WHEREAS, The 28th Infantry Division is celebrating the 80th
anniversary of their unmatched valor in the Hürtgen Forest,
where they disrupted the German counter-offensive during the
Battle of the Bulge and played a critical role in liberating
Colmar, France, from the grip of the German military; and
WHEREAS, The 213th Regional Support Group is the Pennsylvania
National Guard's second major army unit that handles combat
support missions, including transportation, finance and
personnel services; and
WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania Air National Guard is comprised of
the 111th Attack Wing for air support and MQ-9 Reaper ground
control, the 171st Air Refueling Wing for worldwide aerial
refueling and the 193rd Special Operations Wing for special
operation missions; and
WHEREAS, In times of war, national or state emergency or in
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support of any military operation worldwide, the President of
the United States may mobilize units of the National Guard into
active Federal service; and
WHEREAS, The active Federal service of the Pennsylvania
National Guard has included engagement in every conflict this
nation has faced, from the Revolutionary War through the Global
War on Terror, and in peacekeeping missions around the globe;
and
WHEREAS, In peacetime, the Pennsylvania National Guard offers
broad support to the civilian community through the Pennsylvania
Counterdrug Joint Task Force (CJTF); and
WHEREAS, CJTF provides trained personnel and specialized
equipment to assist State and local law enforcement agencies in
the fight against the use of illegal drugs and disposal of
drugs; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania National Guard members serve as role
models, community volunteers and civic leaders throughout this
Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania National Guard's outstanding
performance was on display in 2023 when 107 soldiers deployed to
the Southwest border, supporting the United States Border Patrol
in domestic operations; and
WHEREAS, During this time, the National Guard oversaw
domestic operations conducted by more than 3,500 National
Guardsmen from 16 states, covering approximately 2,000 miles of
United States and Mexico border; and
WHEREAS, In 2023-2024, the Pennsylvania National Guard
responded to eight requests for support through the Pennsylvania
Emergency Management Agency, responding to wildfires in
Pennsylvania and Maui, Hawaii; Operation Sudden Torrent where
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aviation assets responded to flooding in southeastern
Pennsylvania; as well as the deployment of the Pennsylvania
National Guard Cyber Team to support Bucks County following a
cyber hacking on their systems; and
WHEREAS, In 2023, approximately 2,000 Pennsylvania National
Guard members deployed in support of ongoing contingency and
force protection operations in Kuwait, the Horn of Africa,
Romania and other locations; and
WHEREAS, In 2023, the Pennsylvania National Guard celebrated
the 30-year anniversary of its partnership with Lithuania; and
WHEREAS, In 1993, Pennsylvania was one of the first three
states to participate in the State Partnership for Peace Program
and since its inception, the Pennsylvania National Guard has
completed more than 750 engagements with Lithuania, including
joint/combined deployments to Afghanistan; and
WHEREAS, The 193rd Special Operations Wing of the
Pennsylvania Air National Guard was awarded the coveted
Distinguished Flying Unit Plaque by the National Guard
Association in 2022; and
WHEREAS, The 111th Attack Wing, Pennsylvania Air National
Guard received the Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award for
2022; and
WHEREAS, Wing personnel were graded 100% effective overall in
all major areas in the Unit Effectiveness Inspection,
effectively managing and allocating all Higher Headquarters
resources, improving the unit and executing the mission while
sustaining combat operation; and
WHEREAS, With nearly 700,000 veterans, this Commonwealth has
one of the largest veteran populations in the country; and
WHEREAS, Veterans thrive in their community, helping and
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motivating the younger generations; and
WHEREAS, Veterans continue to serve the Commonwealth through
government service, entrepreneurship and industry and have
higher workforce participation than nonveterans; and
WHEREAS, These devoted individuals who have served in the
armed forces of the United States provide living proof that
bravery is not a quality nor an end in itself, but rather can be
a brief moment or perhaps a lifetime of selfless service; and
WHEREAS, Families and friends of wounded and injured veterans
are called upon to provide care and these hidden heroes also
serve our Commonwealth with their sacrifices; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania leads the nation in serving veterans
with the innovative PA VETConnect program, recipient of the
Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence Award from the United
States Department of Veterans Affairs; and
WHEREAS, PA VETConnect is a community-based outreach
initiative to build relationships and find resources that will
assist veterans and their advocates; and
WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania National Guard continues to evolve
with the Keystone State ChalleNGe Academy (KSCA) at Fort
Indiantown Gap, serving high school students between 16 and 18
years of age struggling in traditional school settings; and
WHEREAS, Since its start in July 2022, KSCA has graduated 60
students from 44 cities across 24 counties; and
WHEREAS, Of these, 20 cadets earned their GED, and others
averaged 43.4 credits through credit recovery, enabling them to
graduate or return to high school; and
WHEREAS, Additionally, 25 cadets resumed high school, 5
enrolled in college, 5 joined the armed services and 16 secured
employment; and
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WHEREAS, This year's theme, "Together We Serve: Past,
Present, Future" pays tribute to our citizens, soldiers and
airmen of the Pennsylvania National Guard, veterans of all
services and components who have served and their families; and
WHEREAS, We honor these men and women for their dedication
and service that has led to the distinction of Pennsylvania
having one of the most successful National Guards across our
great country; and
WHEREAS, The continued support of the General Assembly
remains critical to the success of the Pennsylvania National
Guard; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Senate designate June 4, 2024, as
"National Guard and Veterans Day" in Pennsylvania; and be it
further
RESOLVED, That the Senate recognize the men and women of our
armed forces for their dedicated service to this Commonwealth
and this nation and commend them for the outstanding performance
of their duties around the world and in response to domestic
emergencies; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Senate give thanks for the Pennsylvania
National Guard and the service of generations of soldiers and
airmen across Pennsylvania from our days as a proprietary colony
to the great Commonwealth we are today; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Commonwealth is committed to honoring and
caring for veterans and their families as key members of our
communities who often continue to serve and contribute to the
State; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to
the Governor and the Adjutant General.
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