Surface Warfare Magazine
Sharing stories and news from Sailors across the U.S. Navy’s Surface Forces
Type Commander Reserve 101

It’s a pleasure to address the many talented readers of the waterfront’s finest magazine! As your Deputy Commander, my mission obviously centers around support to the SWO Boss, Vice Adm. Tom Rowden.  As a collateral duty, I serve as his principle advisor on Reserve Affairs, as well as the Surface Warfare community leader for the reserve force. In this role, as your “Reserve SWO Boss,” and in this section of our community magazine, my objective is to make each of you smarter on the awesome potential available to you via your Surface Force reserve component (RC) enterprise – and introduce you to the process for maximizing the support your reserve team provides.

I’m a big fan of simplicity. With that in mind, here’s what I want you to take away from this article: 

    1. Your reserve force exists to support our warfighting capability and capacity
    2. Your reserve force includes over 3,000 SURFOR-specific billets
    3. Your reserve force is trained and equipped to support you on the waterfront
    4. Most importantly – your reserve Sailors can, and should, support you underway

The SURFOR Reserve Enterprise Organizational Structure

The CNSP and CNSL RC organizations mirror one another in organization/structure, and it’s no surprise the missions, functions and tasks they perform are closely aligned. Each Type Commander’s reserve complement includes units assigned to headquarters and waterfront maintenance support; the Afloat Cultural Workshop (a reserve-only mission); littoral combat ship units spanning squadron, mission module and Seaframe units (20 total, with 800 current billets growing to 1000 by end of FY18); Assault Craft Units; Beachmaster/Beach Groups; Tactical Air Control Groups and Amphibious Construction Battalions.

CNSP also includes a reserve Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development (SMWDC) mine warfare unit, and you will see new RC units supporting each of SMWDC’s mission detachments, as well as their headquarters, as we grow our support to that critical mission over the next few fiscal years.


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How Your RC Sailors Can Help

Reserve Sailors provide strategic depth and operational capacity—mapped to valid requirements. And with 3150 waterfront billets, they’re doing great work every day for your peers.

Here are a few examples of the types of support your SURFOR RC Sailors are executing today to support our Navy’s warfighting readiness:

    • ATFP watchstanding
    • 3M maintenance execution
    • Inspections / certifications preparations
    • Exercise support
    • Underway watchstanding
    • Forward-deployed unplanned loss fills
    • In-theater logistics support
    • Surge support for manning shortfalls
    • Individual Augmentation / mobilization

RC2C: Your RC Sailors are Seagoing Sailors

RC support isn’t limited to in-port periods and pierside availabilities, though both provide opportunities for you to benefit from close integration with your reserve team. But even more importantly, to address critical afloat billet shortages we’re creating opportunities for your RC team to provide relief to our afloat crews in short, medium and long duration fills.

In fact, I’ve committed to Vice Adm. Rowden and our Chief of Navy Reserve, Vice Adm. Luke McCollum, that the Surface Warfare Reserve Enterprise will evolve to provide far more underway support to the waterfront than we have historically delivered. We’re calling this initiative “RC2C” - getting our RC to Sea. The RC2C initiative exists for one reason, and one reason only - to help you, our afloat warfighters.

How can you get your RC to sea? Without providing a thesis on duty status types, or the permutations of funding sources available to you, let’s focus on the two types of support that will account for nearly all of your reserve interactions.

a. Contributory support. Title 10 of US Code provides a minimum threshold of support every reserve Sailor must provide annually. For ease of discussion that support is simply 14 days of Annual Training (“AT”: think of it as two weeks of active duty) and one weekend per month, known as “drill periods” or “drills.” Many Sailors “flex drill,” which means they can mix and match how they perform those weekend allocations – for instance, come in from Monday to Friday (5 days) in a row, consuming 2.5 months of drills. So generally you can seek short duration support for underway periods in the 1 to 30-day range as regularly contributory support.

b. Surge Support. Your RC sailors also can provide longer duration support in surge situations, assuming valid requirements, schedules and funding are aligned. For example, at CNSP each of the last four years we’ve averaged 39 Sailors providing 113 days of afloat surge support. This year we’ll see that number increase as a result of critical afloat billet gaps. Your RC Sailors want to help you here!

There are many more nuanced ways your RC team can provide support – the key is to speak to your Immediate Superior in Command (ISIC) or Type Commander (TYCOM) Operational Support Officer to learn more. But before you do, remember the entering argument for that conversation is a valid requirement. No requirement means no budget…which means no support.

Your Call to Action

Evaluate your reserve support today. If what you are reading is new or confusing, or you’re unfamiliar with how your reserve team can support you, you’re already behind – and failing to take advantage of the incredible potential, talent and availability of your Navy’s reserve force. Like other TYCOM manning actions that address manning shortfalls in your crews, your RC force can provide a surge support mechanism to address gaps ranging from a few weeks to a few months. Speak to your ISIC or TYCOM Operational Support Officer to learn more.

Keep up the great work leading the world’s finest Navy. I look forward to seeing you on the waterfront.

And remember, it’s a great time to be a Surface Warrior.Surface Warfare Magazine

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