This is the third post in a seven-part series on the implementation of the Boat Forces Reserve management plan. While this post provides information on new Boat Forces Reserve force laydown and composition, future posts will address: new competencies, the creation of contingency maintenance support elements, and an updated Reserve Readiness Cycle. Project team members will be available to respond to comments left below or you can email them your questions at BoatForcesReserve@uscg.mil.
Written by Lt. David Ruhlig, Office of Boat Forces.
The Office of Boat Forces, in close coordination with the Office of Reserve Affairs, is implementing a new Boat Forces Reserve management project to support mobilization readiness for Boat Forces reservists. The plan lays out clearly defined readiness requirements, standardizes reserve PALs at stations and introduces new Boat Forces Reserve competencies to ensure reservists are ready and capable to effectively conduct boat operations in support of Coast Guard missions.
Part of that process is developing a Boat Forces Reserve staffing model, similar to the active component station staffing model, to standardize station assignments for reservists at a level the unit can reasonably sustain and support. Rate and rank mixes will be adjusted as part of this process to better meet mission requirements.
Why the change?
Currently, there is a mismatch between the number of reservists assigned to a unit and the number of boats available at the unit for training and operations. The rate and rank of reservists at a unit doesn’t always support mission readiness or advancement requirements for the member. Additionally, some locations currently supporting reservists simply aren’t in regions that can efficiently mobilize in support of a contingency response or provide alternative assignment options.
A new Boat Forces Reserve staffing model will level the workload across the force to help operational commanders and reservists alike focus their efforts on maintaining readiness. Units should have a rate and rank mix that directly supports the Boat Forces Reserve capability requirement. (LINK TO PREVIOUS BLOG POST ON CAPABILITY REQUIREMENT)
What’s the plan?
Getting force laydown and composition right is central to the success of the Boat Forces Reserve component. Coast Guard area and district reserve force managers will play an important role in reviewing and providing feedback on the staffing model and will play an equally important role in identifying specific billets to be reprogrammed over a five-year period. It is important to note not all billets will move. Those that do move will be given advance notice by their chain-of-command. Reasonable efforts will be made to minimize disruption by timing billet shifts with natural attrition and rotation cycles.
Some of the factors reserve force managers will be asked to consider are a two-to-one active duty to reserve ratio and a minimum of three boats assigned to a host unit. Additionally, proximity to strategic ports will be a critical component of determining force laydown requirements to support operational readiness.
We believe the Boat Forces Reserve management project will fundamentally transform the operational readiness of our reserve force by increasing your opportunities to contribute when we need you. A ready reserve force means a better prepared Coast Guard. We know you want to be ready and we’re here to support you. Please stay engaged with your unit as we roll out this new process and feel free to leave your comments or questions below.