Reservist

ISS2 2016

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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When the planes hit, then-Commandant Adm. James Loy knew he'd need his Reserve force and he tried to get a recall request to Secretary of the Treasury Noman Mineta. The Secretary had been taken to secure spaces within the White House and was already dealing with the crisis as part of one of his other duties – overseeing the Federal Aviation Administration. Loy eventually got through, got authorization to execute the call-up. More than 2,700 reservists would be mobilized in the weeks and months following, meaning almost 50% of the Reserve was serving in the Coast Guard over the year after the attacks – the largest mobilization of Coast Guard since WWII. In the next few years, a wave of storms, including HURRICANES KATRINA, RITA, and WILMA, brought activations to a high of 69% by late 2007. The domestic disaster response mission was making the Coast Guard Reserve the most relevant it had been since its inception in World War II. When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in 2010, causing the largest maritime oil spill in history, the Coast Guard issued recalls for another 2,500 reservists to assist – the largest Title 14 mobilization in U.S. history. More than 400 reservists accepted active duty for operational support, or ADOS, orders to continue to staff the response following their Title 14 orders. And according to Rear Adm. David Callahan's 2011 testimony before the House Committee of Armed Services, "Had it not been for the voluntary response by mobilized reservists to remain on active duty, the Deepwater Horizon event would have reduced the available force to less than 35 percent of strength." Though size of the Coast Guard Reserve continues to decrease, the need for a strong Reserve force is greater today than ever before. In her 2011 article in The Officer, Vice Adm. Sandra Stosz said only 60% of the Coast Guard's 7,600-strong Reserve force was able to be mobilized for Deepwater Horizon due to various constraints, but she hoped to one day restore the Reserve to its funded strength of 8,100. Today, the Reserve is constantly training for the next contingency. The Coast Guard has never seen a more educated, trained, or dedicated Reserve force. What makes each reservist so valuable at a response, said Cmdr. Whitehurst, is their innate flexibility. Whitehurst said her time deployed to the response in South Carolina for the Category 4 HURRICANE HUGO was something she couldn't have trained for – no electricity, all aids-to-navigation moved, the Charleston, S.C., harbor closed. "You just train your people to be adaptable and flexible," said Whitehurst. "In HUGO, we were running helos off the pier. Our [damage controlmen] built boardwalks so we could get across the mud. We distributed handwritten messages on paper. There were no rules for something like that." Adaptability, flexibility, and dedication – the mark of the Reserve; mirrored in its core vales of professionalism, patriotism and preparedness. This all-volunteer force composed of educated professionals and seasoned first responders has made itself relevant. Forty years ago, the Reserve may have been still searching for its purpose, but today, the full-time Coast Guard looks to its Reserve as part of the first-line of defense during times of attack, and natural and man-made disasters. Domestic disaster response didn't put the Reserve on the map, but they seem to have kept them there. � ediToR'S noTe: Learn more about the Coast Guard Reserve's history in the third part of our series, detailing Integration forward to the future, due out later this summer. Throughout our 75 year history our people and platforms have maintained an amazing flexibility and agility to respond to domestic disasters. from acknowledging the value women bring to the workforce, to responding to natural, man-made, and geopolitical crises, the mission remains the same – protecting, assisting and defending our nation. Issue 2 • 2016 � RESERVIST 25

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