Navy Reserve Sailors have answered every call – from overseas contingency operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. I am extremely proud of the men and women of the Navy Reserve and continue to be inspired by the dedication and commitment of our Sailors, their families, and civilian employers. We asked Vice Admiral Robin R. Braun, Chief of Navy Reseve Commander, Navy Reserve Force to explain the importance of the Navy Reserves role in accomplishing the mission.
We must always remember that regardless of our rating or designator that we are warriors first. This fact is reinforced every Monday around noon at Baltimore Washington International Airport, when a plane arrives from Kuwait carrying Navy Individual Augmentees. Since 9/11, this scene has become routine. For those returning home; their families, and shipmates, this moment is anything but routine. These homecomings remind us of how our Sailors, Active and Reserve, are constantly serving around the globe in harm’s way on land, at sea and in the air supporting or conducting combat operations. On any given week, as part of the Total Force, over 4,000 dedicated Reserve Sailors are mobilized in direct support of our Navy, Marine Corps, and Joint Forces team, just as tens of thousands have answered the call over the past decade.
The global requirements for mobilized Reserve Sailors have decreased significantly since 2010, and we currently anticipate the reduced demand signal to continue for the foreseeable future in core Navy missions. However, world events can change that outlook at any time. Nonetheless, our Sailors have demonstrated time and again that our flexibility, responsiveness, and ability to serve across a wide spectrum of operations make a difference to the Joint Force and Combatant Commanders.
Today, Reserve Sailors are on board USS Peleliu (LHA 5) as part of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Reserve Network Operations Support Fly Away team providing C4I training. In the Eastern Pacific, Navy Reserve Frigate USS CURTS (FFG 38) is underway conducting Transnational Organized Crime Operations. In Afghanistan, our helicopters from HSC-84 and HM-15 and our transport aircraft from VR-56 and VR-62 are flying missions to support coalition forces. These are a few examples of where the Navy Reserve is serving forward today.
Over the years, Reserve Sailors demonstrated that no matter what the task – from peace to war – they’ll get the job done! Our Force is committed to the CNO’s tenets of “Warfighting First”, “Operate Forward” and “Be Ready” and each of us has an important role to play in supporting the Total Force Navy Team.
We live in a world that is constantly changing. The Navy Reserve is always looking forward, ready and willing to adapt and embrace new capabilities. As we evaluate our role in supporting missions such as the Littoral Combat Ship, Cyber Warfare, Ballistic Missile Defense, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, our vision for the Navy Reserve is to continue to provide essential warfighting capabilities and expertise, enabling us to respond to any contingency.