Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan) is readying a resolution to support the establishment of National Guard units in the CNMI.
Demapan said he is “pleased by the results of the National Guard Bureau’s feasibility study indicating that it is appropriate to establish a National Guard unit in the CNMI.”
“As a former Army National Guardsman, I know first hand how important the National Guard’s unique role is to respond to natural disasters and civil defense operations within the state or territory,” he said.
Now that the bureau’s report is complete, Demapan said he is “readying a House resolution to support the findings of the National Guard Bureau and the establishment of a National Guard unit in the CNMI.”
Demapan said among the U.S. territories, only the CNMI and American Samoa do not have National Guard units.
“The result of the bureau’s study rises to a greater level of relevance in the wake of the devastation left behind by Typhoon Soudelor. Having a National Guard unit in the CNMI would serve as another major resource for the governor to activate upon the declaration of a state of major disaster,” he said.
He added that when a state or territory’s National Guard unit is not deployed on federal military orders, the National Guard provides protection of life and property, and preserves peace, order, and public safety.
The missions of the National Guard include providing emergency-relief support during natural disasters, search and rescue operations, and counter-drug operations among others, he said.
Demapan noted that in 2013, 16 Northern Marianas soldiers were among the more than 600 members of the Guam National Guard that deployed to Afghanistan, becoming the largest group of reserve component troops in history to be deployed from the Marianas
The National Guard Bureau released the report last week, saying that establishing National Guard units for the Northern Marianas Islands is “feasible.”
“With our population of 54,000, the bureau estimated the Northern Marianas could recruit two, company-sized National Guard elements, above and beyond the U.S. Army reservists now on Saipan,” said Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) in announcing the report’s release.