National Guard Chief Confirmed for Additional Two Years
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2007 The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of Army Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum for a two-year extension as chief of the National Guard Bureau.
President Bush nominated Blum for the extension in December. The Senate acted on the nomination Jan. 26. Blum will have served as the chief for four years in April.
During his tenure, Blum has presided over the transformation of the National Guard from a strategic reserve to an operational force. In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he rebalanced the National Guard to ensure the nation's governors would have at least one-half of their National Guard available at all times to respond to potential catastrophic events. During Hurricane Katrina, he directed the largest military response to a national disaster in American history, sending more than 50,000 Guardsmen from every state and territory to relieve the badly stricken Gulf states.
In 2006, Blum answered the call of the president and four southwestern governors to send up to 6,000 troops to support the Customs and Border Patrol mission along the U.S.-Mexico border. The largest mobilization of the Guard since World War II also occurred during Blum's first four years as the National Guard Bureau chief.
Blum is the senior uniformed National Guard officer responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, programs and plans affecting more than half a million Army and Air National Guard personnel. Appointed by the president, he serves as the principal advisor to the secretary and chief of staff of the Army, and the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force on all National Guard issues. Blum serves as the Army and Air Force's official channel of communication with the governors and adjutants general of the states.
Prior to his current assignment, Blum served as chief of staff of U.S. Northern Command from August 2002 to April 2003.
(From a National Guard news release.)