Sarah Palin has repeatedly boasted of her leadership of the Alaska National Guard as evidence of her ability to command and lead. Unfortunately, latest reports indicate the National Guard that she leads has so many personnel shortages that its aviation unit has become among the most unreliable in the nation. Six months ago, General Craig Campbell warned in an internal memo that due to personnel issues “missions are at risk” and the lack of qualified airmen has reached “the crisis level.” The situation has somewhat improved, but General Campbell fears there will be “burnout” of those serving due to extraordinary demands on their time. Governor Palin has insisted she handles great responsibilities in heading the vast Alaska Nation Guard which consists of 3,800 troops.
Actually, General Campbell blamed the low level of personnel a result of “leadership issues” and urged a more aggressive recruiting and retention program. Governor Palin is correct in one respect in her boasting about the Alaska National Guard. The fact it only has 84% of its assigned positions gives it the lowest rating in the nation.
Perhaps, if Sarah Palin was not out shooting moose or going to hockey matches she might devote some time ensuring the Alaska National Guard attained levels of proficiency necessary to be an effective unit.