The Officer January/February 2011 : Page 28

Dennis Mccarthy assistant secretary of Defense for reserve affairs Valuable readiness reserve components connect us to those who serve and truly embody the total Force. he National Guard and Reserve (NG&R) continue to demonstrate their readiness and ability to make sustained contributions for a range of Department of Defense (DoD) missions, proving their capacity to fulfill requirements in the United States and overseas. They are proven partners for most military solutions and represent an indispensable force for the future. DoD has activated more than 789,000 NG&R personnel since 2001 in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In addition, NG&R members have served in full-spectrum missions at home and abroad as both an operational and strategic force. While DoD identifies those roles and missions that can best be performed by NG&R units and individuals, the NG&R are no longer a force of last resort. In some areas, they make the best and most cost-effective contributions as a force of first choice. Expanding the forces available for assignment to active duty-especially assignments that require deployment-modulates the demand on Active Component forces and allows the services to establish sustainable dwell-to-deployment ratios. The Reserve Component has capability and capacity that remains untapped, but wartime availability of the Reserve Component is proven. It provides a cost-effective complement to the Active Component, including follow-on force, combat support, and combat service support roles. 28 the national Military strategy support In an environment where global challenges confront the United States, it is essential that the Reserve Components have clear objectives that support the nation’s military strategy. To this end, it is crucial that our efforts reflect several common characteristics. First, we must meet the needs of the services by describing plans that are sustainable to utilize the NG&R. By this, I mean plans that are sufficiently attractive in an all-volunteer environment, where the services can recruit and retain the right people. Second, we must meet the needs of the combatant commands by describing ways to utilize the NG&R and fulfill requirements across a spectrum of conflict—from engagement to warfighting to post-conflict reconstruction. Third, our plans must address the needs of the DoD by describing efficient and affordable contributions to national defense. This is even more relevant following Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ recent initiatives to re-balance priorities by reducing excess costs and applying savings to force structure and modernization. Lastly, our efforts must sustain the needs of federal, state, and local leaders by describing effective ways to use the Reserve Component in homeland defense and consequence management. O fficer / J anuary –f ebruary 2011

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