The Maine National Guard is getting smaller.
Brig. Gen. Doug Farnham says the state will lose about 120 positions over the next three years as the guard realigns its forces.
Farnham, the adjutant general for the Maine National Guard, says the reduction’s phase-in through attrition over the next three years will allow his forces to prepare for the change, which will bring total numbers down to about 2,100 by year’s end.
“That’s what we’ve been working on very hard over the last year, is making sure that the force structure that we do have is relevant,” Farnham says. “It doesn’t do us any good as a state or as a federal government to have units that are not relevant. They don’t have the equipment that’s needed, they don’t have the people that are trained in a way that’s needed. So at the end of the day what’s much more important to us is having the right people, the right equipment for both the federal and state mission.”
Farnham assumed the helm of the Maine National Guard in January after leaving his post as wing commander of the Maine Air National Guard’s 101st Air Refueling Wing in Bangor. He is the fourth adjutant general named by Gov. Paul LePage in five years to command the state’s guard forces, based in Augusta.
“I loved the wing up in Bangor, it was kind of a dream job for an airman to be the wing commander in your hometown,” Farnham says. “It was just a great job and I loved every minute of it, but to come down here and take on this responsibility has been very exciting too, and I joke with the Army that I’ve had to learn a little bit of Army and they’ve had to learn a little bit of Air to make it all work.”
As adjutant general, Farnham also serves the state as commissioner of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management.