Reservist

ISS1 2017

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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P rofessionalism, Patriotism, and Preparedness. These are not just platitudes; they accurately reflect the character of the thousands of current and former members of the Coast Guard Reserve. These qualities abound every time I get the chance to get out and meet with reservists and see the great work they are doing. The Reserve is a key player in the Coast Guard's ability to exceed the expectations of the American public, day in and day out. Whether activated for domestic emergencies or deployed overseas in support of the Department of Defense, reservists continually impress me with their selfless service and devotion to duty. Since 2001, there have been over 24,000 activations for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) requirements, 1,700 activations for hurricane responses, 3,500 activations for the Deepwater Horizon response, and over 15,000 long- and short-term operational support activations. Like many of you, I am deeply concerned with the negative impact recent resource reductions have had on our ability to field the trained and capable Reserve force we need. In fact, in 2015, while I was the Pacific Area Commander, I co-signed a memo with the Atlantic Area Commander seeking to tighten up the Reserve's mission focus because the Reserve can no longer be an "All Threats, All Hazards" workforce. We must be strategic in how we focus our reduced resources and develop their needed proficiency to reduce risk in the missions assigned to our Reserve. Our Commandant clearly understands this, signing a decision memo in late 2015 which defined the Reserve Component "as a contingency-based" workforce to meet the Coast Guard's mobilization requirements within four prioritized mission areas: Defense Operations; Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security; Incident Management and Response; and Mission Support." So why is this all important? For starters, the Reserve has been used as the Coast Guard's shock absorber for too many years, cushioning unexpected bumps in budgetary or personnel resources. We must take more care in addressing Active Component gaps through Reserve resources without adjusting our expectations for what a diminished Reserve can produce. We must also periodically reassess and restore essential readiness to ensure the Reserve's long-term viability. To do this we need to have a solid understanding of the mission, competency, and capability requirements expected of the Reserve. We can then quickly discern the right level of funding to support the readiness of our most essential resource, our People. That's why I am so impressed with the direction of the Reserve Component Force Planning Working Group (RCFPWG), which was chartered by the Vice Commandant to implement and manage a systemic process for continuous review and validation of the missions and requirements assigned to the Reserve. The RC-FPWG isn't just an idea, it is working today to give us the repeatable process required to provide our Commandant a thorough understanding of what work the Reserve can/should do and the level of risk buy-down represented by Reserve tasking under any budget environment. In addition to the RCFPWG, we have the Coast Guard's Force Planning Construct (FPC) effort underway to look at how the Service will address authority, capability, capacity and partnership needs and communicate with our key stakeholders. The hard work of the RC-FPWG and the FPC will be coordinated and help us determine how we position our Reserve force of the future. Just recently I had two top-notch reservists join the DCO team in Rear Adm. Francis "Stash" Pelkowski and Capt. Jennifer Travers. Their experience and insight will be crucial as we move forward. As we conclude the Reserve 75th Anniversary celebration, let me offer you my deepest and most sincere THANK YOU for everything you do. Reservists have always given freely of themselves, their time, and their talent, and I am honored to be associated with a group of such outstanding professionals. It is now my responsibility to be worthy of your trust and sacrifice by providing the leadership, vision, and mission focus needed to make our Reserve the best it can possibly be. Semper Paratus. "As we conclude the Reserve 75th Anniversary celebration, let me offer you my deepest and most sincere THANK YOU for everything you do... and I am honored to be associated with a group of such outstanding professionals. " Rese R vist Magazine t he v iew f R o M the B R idge Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray, Deputy Commandant for Operations 8 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2017

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