Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Wright steps down from PA Nat Guard, accepts Pentagon post

Under Wright's leadership since 2004, Pennsylvania has deployed more than 19,000 Army and Air National Guardsmen-some of them more than two or three times-to various conflicts and peacekeeping operations around the world, including: Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, relief efforts in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and Operation Unified Response following the Haitian earthquake in 2010. In Pennsylvania, Wright led the National Guard's response to natural disasters and emergencies such as severe winter storms in 2010 and 2007, and flooding along the Delaware River from heavy rain in 2007 and from three hurricanes-Charlie, Frances and Ivan-that impacted the state in 2004.

Wright steps down from PA Nat Guard, accepts Pentagon post

The first woman commander of the Pennsylvania National Guard is stepping down to take a job at the Pentagon.

Maj. Gen. Jessica Wright, who also headed  the state's Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, will become deputy assistant secretary of defense for manpower and personnel for the Defense Department.

Gov. Rendell, in a news conference today, praised Wright for her handling of major military and relief operations for the National Guard here and abroad over the past six years.

Rendell appointed Maj. Gen. Stephen Sischo, a 26-year veteran of the Air Force and the Air National Guard, as the commonwealth's acting adjutant general. Gen. Sischo currently serves as the state's deputy adjutant general for air operations.

Under Wright's leadership, Pennsylvania has deployed more than 19,000 Army and Air National Guardsmen to various conflicts and peacekeeping operations around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan and to relief efforts in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the Haitian earthquake.

Pennsylvania has lost 48 guardsmen in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, more than any other state, Rendell noted today.

Wright also led the National Guard's response to natural disasters and emergencies such as severe winter storms, and flooding in Pennsylvania. During Hurricane Ivan, the Guard rescued one thousand people in the northeastern part of the state - many of them from rooftops - stranded when the Delaware River flooded.


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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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