By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 1, 2013 – Senior Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security leaders met Feb. 25 with representatives of the Council of Governors to find how the entities can work together better, officials said in a read-out of the meeting.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met with leaders of the council at the Pentagon. The meeting included discussions on cybersecurity, strategic trends affecting the defense budget and a review of the Hurricane Sandy response.
The council operates under Executive Order 13528 -- signed by President Barack Obama in 2010. It is a bipartisan council designed to strengthen the relationship between DOD, Homeland Security and the states and territories.
Napolitano briefed the governors on the president’s executive order and policy directive on improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity and resiliency. Those attending agreed to improve cooperation on the issue and to make it a regular part of the meeting agenda.
They also agreed to a consultative process between DOD and the states for programming and budgetary proposals affecting the National Guard. Governors had raised concerns that the National Guard -- a precious state resource -- was not taken into account during the budgeting process.
The consultative process opens an avenue for the states to communicate their civil support needs to DOD, strengthens unity of effort and maximizes transparency on the strategic context of DOD programming and budgeting, officials said.