This is the fourth 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 competencies, future posts will address: 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 better aligning reserve and active duty competencies for the same jobs. New reserve competencies will be available for nearly all available platforms – highly specialized platforms at units without a reserve component may not have reserve competencies developed. Reserve currency cycles will now be tracked annually with task requirements set to the same standards active duty members are required to meet in a total year, with a few minor exceptions.
Why the change?
The Office of Boat Forces wants a ready reserve force and that means providing our reservists with the opportunity to contribute on all boat types at a comparable level to their active duty counterparts. Legacy reserve contingency competencies limited the roles reservists could fill at stations. In addition, the semi-annual currency cycles didn’t always align with the unique constraints of reserve drill schedules.
What’s the plan?
The new Boat Forces Reserve currency cycle will commence Jan. 1, 2014. Reserve competencies for the response boat-small and response boat-medium will be available at that time with other platform competencies becoming available over a several month period. Any currently-certified reservist will be grandfathered into the new competencies at the beginning of the currency cycle.
Reserve currency requirements are built to 83 percent of active duty requirements. The reason for this lies in limitations on reserve recall. Reservists can be mobilized for up to 60 days each year based on current policy. Our new Reserve Readiness Cycle will identify that potential two-month window for each boat crew. Since the potential for employment exists two months out of the year, we set the currency requirements to a 10-month standard, or 83 percent. Specifically, reserve currency hours are 66 total, 17 of which are at night, within a 12-month period. These are minimum requirements, and we encourage everyone to build proficiency in craft by finding every opportunity to get underway.
How will I be affected?
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.