Reservist

ISS1 2015

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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The View from the Bridge Rear Adm. Kurt B. Hinrichs Senior Reserve Offcer, Pacifc Area G reetings from Pacific Area! As the PACAREA Senior Reserve Officer I have the honor and privilege of ensuring our reservists are organized, trained, and equipped to meet the needs of our Service. My boss Vice Adm. Charles Ray, the PACAREA Commander, is deeply concerned about the future of the Coast Guard Reserve and has asked me to champion initiatives to ensure sustained readiness of our Expeditionary Warfare community and define the core missions and competencies for our larger Reserve Component. In this space I wish to highlight the first initiative, launched a little more than a year ago to enhance readiness of our eight Port Security Units, or PSUs. As you know, PSUs provide a critical wartime capability for the geographic Combatant Commanders, as demonstrated by their continued employment overseas since before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The current eight PSUs trace their lineage to the notional PSUs that were organized in the 9th District during the 1980s and made their operational debut during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991. PSU doctrine, structure, and capabilities have remained essentially unchanged since the commissioning of the first of the current PSUs in 1995. But more than a dozen years of operational deployments have altered fundamental assumptions about how PSUs are resourced and employed. Last year Vice Adm. Ray, then Deputy PACAREA Commander, chartered a workgroup to explore these issues and make recommendations on how best to organize, equip, and train this specialized force to ensure sustained excellence. First and foremost the workgroup recognized that PSUs need to be more focused on operating as part of a coordinated wartime effort, most likely as an element of the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC). Seabees, Coastal Riverine Forces, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal units are some of the forces that operate within the NECC community. During expeditionary operations, PSUs often operate within the Navy's Coastal Riverine Force structure. While the PSUs themselves have been focused on this mission, our doctrine and policy needs to be made more explicit to ensure efforts at all levels of the organization are focused on the primary PSU mission: Defense Readiness. One result of our effort is that the document that governs what PSUs are expected to do, the Required Operational Capabilities and Projected Operating Environment, or "ROCs and POEs," is undergoing a revision and once promulgated will help tighten PSU focus on that primary mission and govern staffing and training requirements with an eye toward preserving readiness. A deepened partnership with the NECC and leverage of their Adaptive Force Package concept also offers an opportunity to gain efficiencies, particularly in the areas of base camp logistics, command and control, intelligence, and other collateral capabilities. These efforts can enable a more operationally focused force that is "light to the fight" and, by extension, more expeditionary. And, while PSUs integrate closely with Department of Defense partners when deployed, they must also integrate more fully with the Coast Guard enterprise when in garrison, especially forces under the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support and the Director of Operational Logistics. Standardizing equipment lists, placing platforms under a product line for maintenance support, and increasing leverage of Forces Command resources can make daily management of the units more efficient. As a former PSU Commanding Officer, getting this right is extremely important to me. I believe that increased focus promotes sustained proficiency, particularly when Reserve training days are limited. Vice Adm. Ray and I have a deep respect for the work our reservists have done, continue to do on a daily basis, and most assuredly will be called upon to do in the future. We will continue to pursue initiatives to ensure a very Ready Reserve. Look for updates from me as we go. Semper Paratus. "PSU doctrine, structure, and capabilities have remained essentially unchanged since the commissioning of the frst of the current PSUs in 1995. But more than a dozen years of operational deployments have altered fundamental assumptions about how PSUs are resourced and employed." 6 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2015

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