New York Guard, the state's volunteer defense force, conducts annual training at Camp Smith Sept. 22-29

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CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. (09/21/2018) (readMedia)-- Two hundred and fifty members of the New York Guard, New York's state defense force, will conduct their week-long annual training at Camp Smith Training Site beginning September 22, and concluding September 29.

The New York Guard is a force of approximately 500 uniformed volunteers who augment and assist the New York National Guard during state emergencies.

They are paid for their service only when they are activated by the Governor of the State of New York. Their training is in an unpaid volunteer basis.

During the week long training session, members who are new to the New York Guard will go through an initial entry training program. Current members will conduct a variety of "hands on" skills training together with professional development seminars to prepare the future junior and senior leaders for upcoming operations.

New York Guard personnel will also be involved in specific construction projects in support of the Camp Smith Training Site.

New York Guard training operations normally include construction operations, communication exercises, medical and legal support of deploying Military organizations, Joint Reception Staging Onward Movement and Integration ("JRSOI") exercises, together with other logistical and administrative activities.

Unlike members of the New York National Guard, New York Guard members do not have a federal military role and respond only to the orders of the governor.

Many members of the New York Guard have served in the Federal Military Forces or have National Guard and/or Reserve service backgrounds. While these veterans bring a wealth of emergency management "skill sets" to the force, previous military membership is not a requirement to enlist in the New York Guard.

The New York Guard was established during World War I to handle domestic security missions when the New York National Guard was deployed in France. The organization was reborn again in World War II when the New York National Guard was sent to Europe and the Pacific.

Since then the New York Guard has existed as a force to augment the New York National Guard, and members are involved in supporting all National Guard responses to weather or other emergencies. Over four hundred New York Guardsman participated in post Sept. 11 attack support operations.

The organization is in its 101st year of existence and continues to serve the state of New York when the Governor asks for their services.