While work such as planned maintenance and in port watchstanding may not be glamorous, the time and effort these Sailors contribute is invaluable. Currently operating at the LCSRON ONE headquarters at Naval Base San Diego, Senior Chief Mineman Timothy Kelly, senior enlisted leader of LCS Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Mission Module Fort Worth, Texas, says his Sailors are capable of incredible things.
“I often hear the term ‘force multiplier’ used a lot about the Reserve,” said Kelly. “While we are out here though, I get to actually see it in action.”
Recently, USS Independence (LCS 2) needed help with a maintenance availability in preparation for a lengthy voyage to the Gulf of Mexico. The work list included hundreds of maintenance checks – an enormous burden on the small crew. Sailors from multiple LCS Reserve units pitched n, completing nearly 150 of the checks, and allowing the ship’s force to focus on other critical predeployment requirements.
“I’m most excited and proud about my seven Sailors that qualified Officer of the Deck (OOD) and Petty Officer of the Watch (POOW) in port. These folks were able to take a huge burden off of the duty sections,” said Kelly. “In terms of operational support, it was one of the most productive ATs that I've been a part of in the last 23 years.”
RC Sailors are able to work seamlessly side-by-side with their active duty counterparts to complete the mission. “It’s really wonderful to see the Sailors integrate,” said Kelly. “You can’t tell the difference between active and Reserve; a Sailor is a Sailor.”
Today the LCS RC enterprise employs 13 units, with 450 Sailors at Navy Operational Support Centers in cities across the country ready to assist any of the four commissioned LCSs. Both the number of ships and the number of Reserve billets and units is growing. The RC Sailors’ contributions are divided into categories to assist in meeting the AC’s most pressing requirements: 5% in the training pipeline, 15% stand ATFP watches, 60% conduct ship maintenance, 10% support LCSRON ONE staff, and 10% augment mission modules.
According to Giron, the future looks even brighter with more units and more Sailors.
“By the end of fiscal year 18, we will have 20 units and 1,000 Reserve Sailors,” he said. “It’s only natural that with more LCS being built, the program will need more support and that’s why we are here.”
To learn more about the LCS variants