Reservist

ISS2 2018

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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Increasing value and utility Setting strategic priorities to aximize eadiness Story by Rear Adm. Scott McKinley, Director of Reserve and Military Personnel Since 1941, the Coast Guard Reserve has served as an essential force multiplier for the Coast Guard across a wide variety of contingency operations. Representing only 1.1 percent of total Coast Guard resources, the Reserve is currently capable of providing a surge capacity of nearly 17 percent of current active duty end strength within 48 hours. While the level of resources available to support the Reserve has fluctuated over time, the patriotism, professionalism and preparedness of our workforce has never wavered. Our strength comes from our amazingly talented and selfless people who have chosen to make a career serving their country. This strength was put to the test in 2017 as we contended with a combination of increased commitments to the Department of Defense mission in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the most active hurricane season in decades; and a resource environment that has left the Coast Guard Reserve at the smallest force strength since the end of the Korean War. Despite these strains, our people performed magnificently and, once again, made clear why the Reserve is a critical element of the total Coast Guard force. 2017 Hurricane season When Hurricane Harvey made landfall last August, it marked the first time a major hurricane made landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. This resulted in the first significant Coast Guard Reserve mobilization since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, with over 1,300 reservists recalled to active duty. As the Director of Reserve, I was extremely proud of how quickly and professionally our Coast Guard reservists responded to this catastrophe. This hurricane marked the first major domestic disaster since the advent of social media, which added a new wrinkle to how the Coast Guard receives and acts on requests for information and more importantly, assistance. A successful response of this size and complexity would have been enough to satisfy anyone, but Mother Nature tested us further by sending another powerful storm, Hurricane Irma, within two weeks of Hurricane Harvey's initial landfall. We quickly activated even more reservists and braced for the potentially cataclysmic damage forecasted for Florida. Even though the damage was not as severe as initially predicted, it was still significant and widespread. Sadly, Hurricane Maria was an extremely powerful and deadly storm. As of this writing, there are still reservists supporting recovery operations in Puerto Rico, and we anticipate the requirement will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Increased responsibilities in Guantanamo Bay At the same time, the Reserve was responding to a historically complex hurricane season, we were also asked to increase our commitments at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. For the past few years, we've had one port security unit Coast Guard Port Security Unit 312 crews approach the USNS VADM K. R. Wheeler during Operation PACIFIC REACH EXERCISE 2017 in Pohang, Republic of Korea. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Rob Simpson 10 RESERVIST � Issue 2 • 2018

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