The Naval Reserve has been called upon once again to augment the U.S.
Navy in time of war--this time for the global war on terrorism.
A few days after terrorists destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade
Center in New York City on 11 September 2001, and slammed a fuel-laden
jet airliner into the Pentagon that same morning, President Bush proclaimed
a state of national emergency and authorized the Secretary of Defense
to mobilize the ready reserves of the nation's armed forces.
By year's end, more than 10,000 Naval Reservists had received orders,
mostly as individuals, to report to active duty--for law-enforcement and
base-security missions primarily, but also for medical, logistics, intelligence,
and other specialized duties.
Vice Adm. John B. Totushek, commander of the Naval Reserve Force (CNRF),
told his staff, and the overall Naval Reserve community, that terrorism
is a cancer that could not be excised with one operation.
"It will be surgical, but we will have to go deep and it will take
time," he said. "We are in the early stages of mobilization.
Individuals, primarily in the force-protection ratings, have been called
up. Units will come later, as the need arises."
As an integral part of "One Navy," CNRF has maintained readiness
for immediate augmentation of the active-duty Navy. CNRF has two major
operational components--Commander Naval Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC)
and Commander Naval Air Force Reserve (CNAR). The commanders of these
components administer their forces in conjunction with the active-force
commanders under whom the Reservists drill and to whom they would immediately
report upon mobilization.
The Naval Reserve is made up of 88,000 Reserve and active-duty Sailors
throughout the United States. The command maintains the personnel and
equipment assigned to it in a state of advanced readiness and availability,
permitting rapid augmentation into the fleet upon partial or full mobilization.
Subordinate commands reporting to the Forces Command include the following:
Naval Reserve Intelligence Command; Naval Reserve Security Group Command;
eight Naval Reserve Readiness Commands; five Naval Air Station/Facility
Commands; Naval Support Activity New Orleans; six Naval Air Reserve Commands;
the Naval Expeditionary Logistic Support Force--consisting of 12 Naval
Reserve Cargo Handling Battalions and two Naval Supply Support Battalions;
156 Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Centers; and seven Naval Air Reserve
Centers. The 12 Reserve Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCBs) are
under operational control of the fleets via 1st Naval Construction Division,
and the Naval Reserve Fleet Hospitals report to the Bureau of Naval Medicine
There also are 23 Naval Reserve Force ships under operational control
of the two Navy fleet commanders, as well as two Naval Coastal Warfare
Groups --composed of nine Harbor Defense Command Units, 22 Mobile Inshore
Undersea Warfare Units, and 14 Inshore Boat Units--under the operational
control of Amphibious Groups Three and Two.
CNAR supports the U.S. combatant commanders with fully combat-ready aircrews
and aircraft capable of flying missions throughout the full range of operations
from fleet support to full mobilization in time of war. CNAR consists
of one carrier air wing of eight squadrons, one seven-squadron maritime
patrol wing, one fleet logistics support wing of 14 squadrons, one helicopter
wing of five squadrons, and two integrated Fleet/Reserve helicopter squadrons.
CNAR flies 103 F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters; eight E-2C Hawkeye early
warning radar planes; four EA-6B Prowlers for tactical electronic warfare;
48 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft; 23 C-9B/DC-9 Skytrain and six
C-40A medium-lift transport aircraft; 19 C-130 Hercules transport aircraft;
36 F-5 Tigers (used for air-to-air adversary training); and 44 helicopters
of five types.
CNAR also provides critical manpower--almost 300 TAR (Training and Administration
of Reserves) and Selected Reserve aircrew officers--and RPN (Reserve Personnel,
Navy) funding to Chief of Naval Air Training's (CNATRA's) 16 training
squadrons and has established Support Augment Units at six TACAIR fleet
Collectively, the ships, aircraft, weapons, and specialty forces under
CNRF make it the fourth largest sea power in the world, and one of the
most capable and lethal.
Naval Reserve Force's highest funding priorities remain the same as they
have been for several years: the recapitalization of aircraft (including
continued procurement of the C-40A Clipper transport aircraft) and the
upgrading of information-technology (IT) systems.
A number of the Navy's most critical missions can be accomplished only
by Naval Reserve surface and air assets. For example, CNRF provides: all
of the Navy's fleet support airlift (people and hardware); all of the
service's inshore undersea warfare assets (people and hardware); and 100
percent of its "adversary" flight hours (in which the F-5s simulate
enemy aircraft in "combat" exercises against fleet aviators
preparing for deployment).
In addition, CNRF provides 99 percent of the Navy's control of shipping
assets (personnel); 93 percent of all of its cargo-handling capabilities
(people and hardware); 100 percent of its embarked naval advisory teams;
53 percent of its intelligence-mission capabilities (people); and 40 percent
of all of the Navy's fleet hospital resources (people and facilities).
Among the most essential combat-support units in the Naval Reserve Force
are four fleet hospitals, four mobile EOD (explosive ordnance disposal)
units, and nine harbor defense commands.
CNRF is proud to point out that the Naval Reserve provides 19 percent
of the total "One-Navy" force, but costs only about 3 percent
of the total Navy budget.
Marine Corps Reserve
Today's Marine Reserves are ready, willing, and able to support the active
component and to serve both the nation and their state and local communities.
Marine Forces Reserve (MFR) activated nearly 5,000 Marines, as part of
units or individual augments, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom
As in the past, Reserve units have filled critical roles in the nation's
defense by carring out a number of OEF missions. Examples include Reserve
KC-130s, which have deployed twice to support OEF operations in Afghanistan;
Reserve CH-53 helicopters, which deployed with Marine Expeditionary Units
to increase their heavy-lift capabilities; two reserve infantry battalions,
which were tasked as ready-reaction forces to respond quickly to crisis
situations; and Reserve provisional security platoons, which were assigned
last year to guard the fence line around U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay,
In addition to supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Marine Reserves
continued to provide operations tempo relief to the active forces. Notably,
more than 300 Reserves volunteered to participate in UNITAS 43-02, creating
the first Reserve Marine Forces UNITAS. From August to December, the UNITAS
Marines sailed around South America conducting training exercises with
military forces from Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and other countries. Marine
Reserves are expected to continue the UNITAS deployments every other year.
MFR support of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Kosovo is now in its
seventh consecutive year. A 10-member detachment from 4th Civil Affairs
Group is currently on a 6-month rotation in Operation Joint Guardian.
The MFR, individuals and units, also will participate this year in a
number of major Marine Corps exercises. Following are some of the more
significant exercises and training missions already scheduled:
(1) MFR Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) will conduct two combined-arms
exercises in the desert environment of Twentynine Palms, Calif.
(2) MAGTF 25 will conduct expeditionary warfare orientation training in
(3) F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters and 4th Force Reconnaissance Company
will support the 3rd Marine Regiment's MAGTF training during Hawaii Combined
(4) Several MFR units will participate in six humanitarian operations
in Central and South America--providing engineering, civil affairs, and
medical and dental support, primarily.
(5) The 4th Combat Engineer Battalion will participate in Cornerstone
'03, a multinational "Partnership for Peace" exercise in Eastern
(6) MFR medical and dental personnel will provide care in remote Alaskan
regions during an innovative readiness training operation called Arctic
Lt. Gen. Dennis M. McCarthy is the current commander of the Marine Forces
Reserve. The MFR's major subordinate commands all welcomed new commanding
generals in 2001. They are: 4th Marine Division, Brig. Gen. John J. McCarthy;
4th Marine Air Wing, Brig. Gen. Harold J. Fruchtnicht; and 4th Service
Support Group, Maj. Gen. John W. Bergman.
The MFR's end strength at the beginning of fiscal year 2003 was 39,905
total in the Selected Reserve, with 33,097 assigned to units; 2,294 in
the Active Reserve; and l,427 Individual Mobilization Augmentees. The
Individual Ready Reserve strength stood at 58,039 Marines and the Retired
Reserve at 5,218. The MFR budget for FY 2003 includes $554.0 million for
Reserve Personnel Marine Corps (RPMC) and $187.5 million for operations
Three major missions have been assigned to the Marine Forces Reserve:
(1) To augment and reinforce the regular component during crises and
(2) To provide peacetime operational tempo and personnel tempo relief
for the regular units; and
(3) To tell the Marine Corps story to the American people by being "twice
the citizen" in their local communities.
On the home front, Marine Reservists provide community service in many
forms. Perhaps the best known is the heralded "Toys for Tots"
program--which, during the 2001 holiday season, distributed 13.2 million
toys to 6.1 million children. Also in 2001, many Reserve sites became
home to the new Marine for Life program, designed to assist Marines leaving
active duty with their transition to civilian life in communities around
(For additional information see the MFR website: www.mfr.usmc.mil)
Coast Guard Reserve
The Semper Paratus "Always Ready" men and women of the Coast
Guard Reserve were the first members of any of the nation's Reserve Components
to be recalled to active duty in the wake of the terrorist attacks on
11 September 2001. Within hours after the attacks, Secretary of Transportation
Norman Y. Mineta, exercising his unique authority under 14 U.S. Code 712,
authorized the recall of the entire Coast Guard Selected Reserve (SELRES)
to provide enhanced port security, waterways, and commercial vessel protection
in seaports throughout the United States.
Eventually, 2,771 Coast Guard Reservists (or about one third of the entire
SELRES) were mobilized, proportionally more than any of the nation's other
The Coast Guard Reserve's mission is to provide qualified personnel to
assist the active-duty force in meeting its national-defense responsibilities
and to respond to domestic emergencies.
The Coast Guard's Port Security Units (PSUs) are staffed almost exclusively
by Reservists. They support regional combatant commanders by providing
force protection for naval and commercial ships and other high-value assets
overseas in critical ports of debarkation. There are currently six such
units in place: PSU 305 in Fort Eustis, Va.; PSU 307 in St. Petersburg,
Fla.; PSU 308 in Gulfport, Miss.; PSU 309 in Port Clinton, Ohio; PSU 311
in San Pedro, Calif.; and PSU 313 in Tacoma, Wash. The PSUs operate Transportable
Port Security Boats (TPSBs), rapidly deployable 25-foot craft armed with
.5 caliber and 7.62mm machine guns.
An earlier response to another terrorist attack--the surprise bombing
in Yemen that seriously damaged the Navy's Aegis guided-missile destroyer
USS Cole and killed 17 of her crew--saw PSU boats and personnel deployed
to the Arabian Gulf region to provide force protection for American ships
in the area. The PSUs also are providing waterside security at Camp X-Ray
in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Reservists continue to perform a major role in most of the Coast Guard's
peacetime missions, serving alongside active-duty personnel aboard cutters
and at air stations, in maritime safety offices, and at other shore facilities.
Most Coast Guard Reservists are assigned to the same active-component
commands to which they are expected to report upon mobilization. About
85 percent of Selected Reservists are assigned directly to active-duty
Coast Guard commands. The remainder are assigned to PSUs, to combined
Navy-Coast Guard Harbor Defense Commands and Groups, and to the Mobile
Support Unit at the Coast Guard Yard. A number of Coast Guard Reservists
also serve on the staffs of the U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Southern
Command, U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Joint Forces Command. Several
Coast Guard Reservists serve on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Since the 1980s, Reservists have performed the bulk of the Coast Guard
work enforcing security zones for space-shuttle operations in Florida.
An estimated 65 percent of the Coast Guard personnel employed in the massive
cleanup following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1990 were Reservists.
Coast Guard Reservists also have taken a leading role in educating the
public about preventing marine pollution. Sea Partners--a Reserve-manned
outreach program sponsored by the Coast Guard Office of Marine Safety,
Security, and Environmental Protection --seeks to educate the public about
marine pollution issues and to improve compliance with marine environmental-protection
laws and regulations. Last year, these Reservists coordinated a number
of beach and shore cleanups.
A new era for the Coast Guard Reserve began in 1994-1995 when all Reserve
units were disestablished and the Selected Reserves were integrated directly
into the service's active-component commands. Today's "Team Coast
Guard" encompasses all elements of the multimission service--active-duty
personnel, Reservists, civilian personnel, and members of the Coast Guard
Auxiliary. The rapid call-up and deployment of Coast Guard Reservists
following the terrorist attacks of September 11 is a testament to the
success of the earlier Reserve integration.
In accordance with the recommendations included in several recent in-service
and external studies, and as a result of the recall following the events
of 9/11, it is expected that the authorized end strength of the Coast
Guard Selected Reserve will be increased to 9,000 members, from the current
8,000, during fiscal year 2003.
Reservists also will be assigned to the newly commissioned Coast Guard
Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSSTs) during FY 2003. These valuable
new domestic maritime law-enforcement teams, modeled after the PSUs, will
man a new class of fast boats to respond to potential terrorist threats
in U.S. ports and on the nation's waterways. The MSSTs will be manned
by a combination of active-duty and Reserve personnel, and will be based
at major ports around the nation. *
The preceding article is based largely on information provided by
the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserve Component offices, whose
generous assistance and professional expertise are hereby gratefully acknowledged.