USA — Officials Ponder Reserve Components’ Future

WASHINGTON — A report released this week will help Defense Depart­ment offi­cials imple­ment rec­om­men­da­tions made by the Com­mis­sion on the Nation­al Guard and Reserve two years ago.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment of the Massachusetts Army National Guard
Sol­diers from the 1st Bat­tal­ion, 101st Field Artillery Reg­i­ment of the Mass­a­chu­setts Army Nation­al Guard assist a fam­i­ly with tents and food sup­plies dur­ing the deliv­ery of human­i­tar­i­an aid in the Dasht Barchi vil­lage of Kab­ul, Afghanistan, Sept. 23, 2010. The sol­diers part­nered with Afghan Nation­al Police to pro­cure and deliv­er shel­ter and food items to 150 needy fam­i­lies whose homes suf­fered exten­sive water dam­age dur­ing a flood in the vil­lage. Defense offi­cials are work­ing to deter­mine the role going for­ward for the nation’s reserve-com­po­nent forces.
U.S. Army pho­to by Capt. Antho­ny Deiss
Click to enlarge

“There is a very strong com­mit­ment to imple­ment most of rec­om­men­da­tions of [the com­mis­sion],” Den­nis M. McCarthy, assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for reserve affairs, said at a round­table dis­cus­sion here yes­ter­day. “This [report] is going to help us sus­tain and main­tain the momen­tum of that process.” 

The Cen­ter for a New Amer­i­can Secu­ri­ty report, which argues for a num­ber of actions that will strength­en the Guard and reserves, com­bined with the 12 oth­er stud­ies being con­duct­ed by the Defense Depart­ment, also will help to inform defense lead­ers as they plan for the future of the reserve com­po­nents, said Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKin­ley, chief of the Nation­al Guard Bureau. 

“This cen­tu­ry obvi­ous­ly has been huge­ly chal­leng­ing for all of us,” he said. “We are emerg­ing into the sec­ond decade of this cen­tu­ry and try­ing to fig­ure out what are the prop­er sweet spots for the reserve components.” 

McKin­ley said today about 64,000 Nation­al Guard men and women are serv­ing over­seas in sup­port of the Army and Air Force, but equal­ly impor­tant is their 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year sup­port to their governors. 

“Because we don’t know when the next cri­sis will hit, that require­ment to be ready all the time … is very impor­tant for us to under­stand,” he said. “At any moment, we can be chal­lenged with a dis­as­ter of nat­ur­al or man-made pro­por­tions, … [and] we have to be ready to meet those challenges.” 

McCarthy said the Guard and its DOD part­ners have made “tremen­dous” progress in its sup­port to civ­il authorities. 

“We are def­i­nite­ly, in my opin­ion, mov­ing in the right direc­tion,” he said, adding that the Guard’s weapons of mass destruc­tion and civ­il sup­port teams did­n’t exist a few years ago. 

The report states the Army and Air Guard and oth­er reserve-com­po­nent branch­es lack about 25 per­cent of their required equip­ment, but McCarthy said it’s unre­al­is­tic to expect every unit to be ful­ly equipped. 

“I sim­ply don’t think that we ought to knee jerk into the idea that every com­pa­ny and every bat­tal­ion needs to have 100 per­cent of its table of equip­ment parked out on the back lot,” McCarthy said. “If that is the stan­dard we use for mea­sure, I think we are nev­er going to get there, or we’re going to get there with old and out­mod­ed equipment. 

“We need to get beyond that,” he con­tin­ued, “and do some things that are per­haps a lit­tle more cre­ative and a lit­tle more use­ful.” He added that new approach­es are need­ed, includ­ing the use of simulation. 

“Mak­ing the reserve com­po­nent an inte­gral and indis­pen­si­ble part of the oper­a­tional force will take a whole range of actions that … the depart­ment is com­mit­ted to take,” McCarthy said. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →