By Sgt. Lalita Laksbergs, National Guard Bureau - Counterdrug, Public Affairs
The Florida National Guard Counterdrug Program received the 2012 Outstanding State National Guard Civil Operations Program Award Feb. 7, at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) 22nd National Leadership Forum, held at the Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center, National Harbor, Md.
This is the first time that the Florida National Guard Counterdrug Program has been honored with this award. The program was recognized for its outstanding and longstanding commitment to community coalitions in Florida.
“Without the hard work and dedication of each and every one of our Counterdrug members and supporting agencies, this award would not be possible,” said Capt. Jeanette Kingsley, Florida National Guard Counterdrug Civil Operations Program Manager. “We engage with communities from the western panhandle to Key West. We feel lucky to be a part of the positive development of more than 151,000 students and adults in the State of Florida in 2011.”
In addition to the core Counterdrug Civil Operations mission of helping communities reduce substance abuse, the Florida Counterdrug program has helped coalitions plan and promote prescription drug take back events, provided logistical support for town hall meetings on underage drinking and offered Graphic Information System mapping capabilities.
“We strive to exceed expectations in all we do,” said Col. William Beiswenger, Jr., Director, Florida National Guard, Joint Directorate of Intelligence and Domestic Operations. “We are pleased to be a supporting entity to the CADCA organization in educating our youth on making positive life choices.” Since 1992, CADCA has trained local grassroots groups in community problem-solving strategies, in assessing local substance abuse-related problems and in developing comprehensive plans to address them.
“The National Guard has always been part of our communities and being members of CADCA only strengthens that community commitment,” said Maj. Gen. David Harris, Director, National Guard Bureau, Domestic Operations & Force Development. “We have a vested interest because Guard members live in communities all across the nation. By maintaining the National Guard’s core mission of support to communities, we keep those community relationships strong.”
CADCA is the nation’s leading drug abuse prevention organization, representing the interests of more than 5,000 community anti-drug coalitions in the country.