ISS2 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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 55

Building Sustainable ICS Readiness and Capacity Recognizing the need for additional capacity in the area of Incident Command System (ICS) expertise, Office of Crisis and Contingency Planning and Exercise Policy (CG-CPE) has been working with the Reserve Component Force Planning Working Group (RCFP-WG) to improve the ICS training and qualification system for reservists. This effort has genesis in the ICS Concept of Reserve Employment (CORE) doctrine relating to Response and Contingency Preparedness (ALCOAST 052/13 DTG 071719Z FEB 13). The original CORE doctrine prompted CG units to review and adjust the competencies assigned to each Reserve Billet against the mobilization needs of the Coast Guard. Further, CORE message 5 stated that CG HQ Program Offices, working jointly with Area, District, and Sector Planning Staffs intended to develop surge staffing requirements along with a force allocation process in accordance with Volumes I and II of the Contingency Preparedness Planning Manuals. Currently, the RCFP-WG, which is comprised of both Headquarters Offices (e.g. CG-CPE, and CG-741) and Force Managers (e.g. LANT, PAC, DOL), is reviewing the contingency work requirements that should underlie the billet structure as well as the competencies assigned to the Reserve Component as a whole. As part of the RCFP work, a review of ICS and other contingency work within the Shore Forces construct was recently led by the Office of Shore Forces (CG-741). One of the outcomes of this review is the pre-identification of billets with assigned competencies that require an ICS C-school. Capt. Daniel Deptula, CPE Office Chief stated: "Our aim is to help support this initiative by providing targeted ICS training" to the pre-identified members. "Prior to our intervention, we failed our Reserve members by often not providing a clear pathway for training, qualification, and adequate time for members to plan for attendance." In addition to the Shore Forces billet review, there are RCFP- WG sub-working groups focused on ICS requirements and competency assignments throughout the field (Areas/Districts) and within the Mission Support Construct (DCMS/DOL). CG-CPE and CG-131 have developed Reserve specific ICS business rules to inform the efforts of the sub-WGs. Deptula noted, "As we began our review of the Reserve portion of our PAL … it became apparent that more detailed national business rules needed to be developed to support the … re-alignment effort." The business rules provide a rank/rate crosswalk to the ICS competencies with significant flexibility when choosing which ICS competency to assign a Reserve member. "We have also predetermined ICS quotas for every ICS course which will allow the CG to increase its reserve capabilities, predetermine unit Reserve ICS needs, and allow reservists adequate time prior to receiving orders to know that they will be attending ICS training well in advance," stated Deptula. CG-CPE has collaborated with CG-131, Training Center Yorktown, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, FORCECOM and other stakeholders of the RCFP-WG to assess and improve the training system success in meeting the requirements. This assessment will be used to prepare a training system implementation plan and to identify funding and staffing requirements to support an increase in the Coast Guard's overall ICS training capacity. "Our efforts, over time, will significantly reduce the [training quota] deltas with a training program specifically designed to strategically target those who require training for their assignment" said Deptula."Our hope is that through providing a consistent training platform and an established pathway for reservists to attain competencies, we will have increased the Reserve capacity and capability to assist incident management operations across the Coast Guard." Resolution to the ICS training challenges is one of many positive outcomes of the organization-wide dialogues facilitated by the Reserve Component Force Planning WG. The framework of a standardized billet map for shore forces units developed by CG-741 will align needs of the operational commanders with not only formal C-school training as described in this article, but also on-the-job training capacities of each shore forces unit. The Executive Steering Group of the RCFP-WG endorsed the framework and approved CG-741 to move forward with a collaborative review and billet adjudication process with the field, slated to occur this summer. These successes have paved the way for similar initiatives in DCMS/DOL, Areas and Districts, and are illuminating the optimal work, size, and shape of our reserve workforce. By fostering cross-organizational stewardship of the RC, the RCFP-WG is ensuring that Reservists are prepared to do the right work when called to action. RCFP-WG Portal Page: cg131/Reserve%20Force%20Planning%20Working%20 Group/SitePages/Home.aspx — Submitted by Lt. James McKnight, CG-1311 and Lt. Nicole Anaya, PAC-15a The Coast Guard and other federal, state, and industry partners participated in a response exercise in Houma, Louisiana, March 8. The purpose of the exercise was to improve the effectiveness of the involved agencies during an oil spill response. Photo by Petty o fficer 3rd Class Brandon Giles 36 RESERVIST � Issue 2 • 2017

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Reservist - ISS2 2017