The face of war has changed drastically over the last ten years. Prior to the onset of the War on Terrorism, the United States and the National Guard had always face opponents of a more conventional sort.
In the past, conventional means of warfare were the most effective way of eliminating the country’s threats. However, the National Guard has been facing a different kind of foe over the last decade. These enemies do not wage war with conventional armies, but do so insidiously with guerrila tactics.
For example, Guardsmen in Afghanistan must hunt down insurgents who find shelter in massive cave systems high up in the country’s mountains. Engagements with these insurgents usually consist of smaller units and often only last a few brief moments.
The National Guard is now adjusting its operations in order to regain the upper hand on its opponents. Special operations units have been very effective in battling the enemy’s different, small-scale tactics. These SpecOps units are highly mobile and are more able to track and destroy opposition in the rugged terrain.
Currently, the National Guard operates two Special Forces Groups (SFG). These units, the 19th and 20th SFG, have had great success in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In order to further increase their progress in these regions, the Army Special Operations Command is adding a battalion of operators to each of these units.
With more special operations personnel in the National Guard, units will be able to make an even bigger impact on the global war against terror. This is just one way that National Guardsmen are rising to the challenges of modern warfare.