There is undisputed documentation that the members of the NJNMJC provided valuable services during and in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. In the Global War on Terrorism and with the transformation of both the Army and Air National Guard, more emphasis is being placed on the federal utilization of the National Guard. In 2004, mobilization of the New Jersey Army National Guard (NJARNG) reached historic proportions with better than sixty percent of the NJARNG mobilized and deployed overseas. Ongoing rotations of the New Jersey Air National Guard (NJANG) in AEFs and in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Noble Eagle will continue to tax NJANG resources. Finally, gaps in the ability to cover all maritime missions are clearly articulated by the Coast Guard (Appendix A).
With a continuing opstempo across the country among Guard and Reserve, there is growing interest in the development and utilization of state defense forces. Nationally, there are seven states with organized Naval Militias and twenty-seven states and one territory with a state defense force or state guard. New York State has the most robustand oldest organization. The New York Naval Militia is separate from the New York State Guard and, therefore, has federal recognition.
Given the unrelenting opstempo, the NJNMJC can be a formidable force multiplier. The volunteerism of their members and their motivation to serve the State is well documented. The membership also reflects many specialties that can be utilized in multiple homeland security operations. It is therefore recommended that the New Jersey Naval Militia Joint Command continue to develop its organization with a modification to their mission statement, changes to the organizational structure and the adoption of regulations by DMAVA that will address the issues of background checks, medical fitness, training requirements and accession and procedural criteria.
Legal review indicates that the organization complies with federal and state statutes. Recommended changes to the organizational structure will best position the NJNMJC to obtain federal recognition. Changes to the rank structure at headquarters are in keeping with the current membership. Rank structures in the military increases with force structure expansion and are reflected as such. Finally, the DMAVA regulations will reflect the requirements for activation as outlined in NGR 10-4.
Continued development of the NJNMJC will require the commitment of state resources. Currently, no funds are allocated and the NJNMJC uses the Plainfield Armory for training, which remains open solely for their use. Projected total costs for year 1 just to initiate operations are $92,100; to bring existing equipment up to standards for continued use would require projected total costs of $180,800 for Year 1, $234,600 for Year 2; and $291,400 for Year 3.