Iowa has a greater percentage of its National Guard and Air Guard serving on active duty than any other state. Seventy-eight percent of eligible Guard members are on full-time assignment today, in over 30 countries. Iowa National Guard Adjutant General Ron Dardis says one of the reasons for that statistic is the Iowa Guard has modernized more than units in other states. Dardis says the Iowa Guard has been “transformed” and doesn’t look like it did five years ago. He says they’ve “re-engineered and reorganized” the Guard with new equipment and “new, more relevant missions.” Dardis says the Iowa Guard has “broken out of the pack” and become one of the best state Guard units in the country. Dardis says Iowa is one of 26 states to have homeland security and emergency management under the military. He says other states are moving to this model, so Iowa “has it right.” Dardis says the Iowa Guard is at “100 percent troop strength” today, and because of the “transformation efforts” the federal government is sending 124 million more dollars to Iowa to bankroll the Guard’s operations than it did six years ago. Dardis delivered a “condition of the guard” address at the statehouse this past Wednesday.
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