Sarah Palin National Guard Commander-Truth!

Sarah Palin’s Security Clearance-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
The eRumor highlights Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s National Guard duties saying that she is briefed on highly classified issues, Homeland Security and counterterrorism.   It also says that she is the commander of the Alaska National Guard and the commander in chief of the Alaskan State Defense Force.
The Truth:
A local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) public affairs representative in Los Angeles told that elected government officials go through a security screening process but could not go into details as to the level of investigation or the security level given to any one official in particular. We have asked both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for further information on the level of security for governors.
The Los Angeles Times on September 6, 2008 reported that Governor Sarah Palin oversees military units whose duties include serving overseas as well as search-and-rescue (SAR) missions at Ft. Greely.
The LA Times article went on to say that the Alaska Air National Guard is 1,946 service member strong and has participated in several search-and-rescue missions. Since Palin’s election in 2006 the Air Guard has flown 521 missions, saving 200 lives and assisting with the rescue of 77 more people.   The foreign deployments of units and the operation of missile interceptors are not the responsibility of state governors. That comes down from the regular U.S. military chain of command.
Ft. Greely is located about 100 miles South East of Fairbanks, Alaska.  In 1995 the base was slated for realignment by 2001 in but still remains open as a facility for  Alaska National Guard, COLD REGIONS TEST CENTER (CRTC), Missle Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC).
The Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF) is a military police organization that was primarily created as a back up for the National Guard.  According to their web site they work with primarily “State and local emergency management agencies in Homeland Security, disaster assistance, planning, exercises, and operations in response and recovery for both natural and man-made disasters.”
The mission statement on their website states, “The Mission of the 49th Military Police Brigade is to maintain an organized and trained military force, capable of timely and effective response to State emergencies, or on occasions deemed appropriate by the Governor, to provide military assistance to civil and military authorities for Homeland Security and in the preservation of life, property, and public safety.”
Governor Palin would only call upon them in case of an emergency.
Click here for the A.S.D.F. web site.
It is not uncommon, in the event of an emergency, for a state governor to use military resources like the National Guard.   California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently had to use the California National Guard to help battle wild fires.  Earlier this year, the US Coast Guard in San Pedro, CA and the US Marines at Camp Pendleton assisted local agencies in the transport of volunteers, firefighters and equipment to Avalon when the Island of Catalina was threatened by fires.  After the devastation from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 the US Coast Guard and the National Guard worked with local agencies in rescuing stranded residents from flooded areas.
updated 09/08/08