December 11, 2020

Duckworth Speaks with National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Hokanson About National Guard Operations, COVID-19 Response


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, spoke with Gen. Dan Hokanson, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, to discuss National Guard operations in response to peaceful protests this summer, as well as updates on the National Guard’s COVID-19 response.

“General Hokanson and I had the opportunity to discuss many issues today, including the importance of keeping politics out of the use of the National Guard and the critical role National Guard troops play in our country’s response to COVID-19,” Duckworth said. “General Hokanson is leading the Guard during a global health pandemic and one of the most significant moments for civil rights in our nation’s history while maintaining focus on growing threats and making sure National Guard members uphold the highest standards of military service, and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”

Duckworth was critical of the Trump Administration’s politicization of the military in response to protests this summer in Washington, D.C., which she discussed with Hokanson earlier this year ahead of his confirmation. Duckworth has also been outspoken in her calls to extend Title 32 funding for the National Guard’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Duckworth introduced the National Guard COVID-19 Response Stability Act to ensure that all National Guard troops activated in response to the pandemic receive additional benefits and provide states with greater certainty, and has sent multiple letters on the issue.

The National Guard Bureau serves as a communications channel between the 54 separate National Guard organizations (50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam) and the Army and the Air Force.

Senator Duckworth is a former Army Black Hawk pilot who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years.