Reservist

ISS4 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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T he 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season set historic records with three incredibly powerful Category 4 hurricanes making landfall in the United States in quick succession. Hurricane Harvey's landfall on August 25, 2017, caused extensive wind damage and devastating flash floods along the Texas and Louisiana coast as it delivered over 33 trillion gallons of rain over a four-day period. This hurricane produced a storm surge and flooding that necessitated an unprecedented search and rescue operation, followed by extensive pollution response and remediation efforts. In coordination with federal, state, and local partner agencies and Department of Defense, the Coast Guard rescued 11,022 people and 1,384 pets. September brought Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria, impacting and devastating portions of the U. S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida; and October, record fast moving Hurricane Nate, impacting the Eastern Gulf States. Always Ready, Coast Guardsmen reported to duty, some at Continuity of Operation (COOP) locations, even as their dependent family members were evacuated. While the five hurricanes in close succession stretched the service's capacity, the Coast Guard's response in each and every case was as swift and comprehensive as the first. In coordination with federal, state, and local partner agencies and the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard supported the impacted Governors' State Emergency Management frameworks and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as we performed daring search and rescue flights and shallow water boat rescues, conducted aerial damage assessments, reconstituted dozens of ports and hundreds of miles of waterways, supported relief efforts, and began the longer term process of remediating environmental threats. In the last 60 days, the Coast Guard mobilized 3,000 active duty, Reserve, civilians, and Auxiliary personnel to assist in all of these efforts. While the Coast Guard Reserve maintains a ready force of 6,400 plus members, to date, over 1,700 reserve orders have been issued to mobilize our forces, more than double the Reserve involvement during Hurricane Katrina. Pressing into the fight, some of our reservists have answered the call for multiple deployments, and they remain unflinching. These efforts are in addition to steady state operations and other contingency missions we support on a daily basis. The success of our service to date, during this uniquely challenging operational period, is a direct reflection of the combined efforts of our well trained total Coast Guard workforce. The ability of you, our reservists, to flow in and out of any contingency response, shows the diversity of your training and leadership, areas we need to continue to value and reinforce. The importance of maintaining a robust and ready Reserve Component has never been greater. We know we cannot control the frequency or intensity of events around the globe. What we can do, as good stewards of the public's trust, is minimize the risk to the Coast Guard and our Nation by taking a fresh look at how we invest in the Reserve force. The value proposition of the Reserve is extraordinary. When sized and funded to the Commandant's desired end- state, our Reserve Component could have the ability to increase military end strength by 20% within 48 hours at a cost of only 1.3% of the total Service's discretionary budget. I sincerely appreciate the professionalism, leadership, initiative, and unwavering dedication you demonstrated in recent weeks in response to these storms, and more generally the enthusiasm you bring to whatever the fight or challenge may be. The importance of maintaining a robust and ready Reserve Component has never been greater. The ability for reserve members to respond has enabled this tremendous increase in operational capability as we shoulder several responses along with our federal counterparts. I thank all who responded, and all of those who absorbed additional burdens while their shipmates went forward. Answering the call has strengthened the faith and trust the public places in its Coast Guard, and earned accolades at the highest level of the administration; your Coast Guard leadership couldn't be prouder of your success. Thank you for all that you do, keep up the great work. Semper Paratus. "What we can do, as good stewards of the public's trust, is minimize the risk to the Coast Guard and our Nation by taking a fresh look at how we invest in the Reserve force." Rese R vist Magazine t he v iew FR o M the B R idge Vice Admiral Karl L. Schultz Commander, Atlantic Area 6 RESERVIST � Issue 4 • 2017

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