BY LUKE TAYLOR, ARMY COLONEL, RETIRED | MARCH 28, 2012
Senate Bill 1083 – a difference maker
Of great importance to Arizona citizens
Senate Bill (SB) 1083 establishes the Arizona Special Missions Unit (SMU) for securing the safety and protection of the lives and property of the citizens of this state. The primary mission of the unit is to support this state in securing the border with Mexico and supplement the efforts of law enforcement and state agencies, including county and municipal leaders.
SB 1083 is being championed and shepherded by Senator Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake.
A year ago, twenty-two states had state guard units, often using different names, but organized to support mainly their state national guard in their absences and state humanitarian areas. Arizona was the only border state that did not in reality have a state guard.
The public laws of the twenty-two states that had state guard units were used as a guideline for writing SB 1083. As the bill progressed through the legislative process, it was moved from under Arizona Title 26 series to the Arizona Title 41 series to remove it from under the purview and chain of command of the Arizona National Guard. A name change was made from the Arizona State Guard to the Arizona Special Mission Unit. Today, SB 1083 has become a superb piece of legislation.
The correct force design, the proper material needed along with the requisite vetting, training and intelligence models required to accomplish the unit’s primary mission is being developed. The SMU is being engineered for success. There will be a slow start with a small force. They will build on their successes and acceptance by the citizens and state leaders.
This force will not stop all of the drug cartels and other cross border criminal activity but will make a difference over time. This force is designed and focused to go after the drug cartel’s centers of gravity and their widespread operations. It is a defensive force but is armed to take care of any situation. Intelligence and training will be the keys to the SMU’s success. Our intelligence will tell the unit where to go and describe the activity to counter.
Our legislators and the Governor need to know you want them to support this legislation.
The changes defined in SB 1083 are clearly marked in color against black type so as to be easily identifiable. We encourage you to read SB 1083.