Legislation could expand Reserve role in homeland security mission

| October 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

Changes to Title 10 are discussed at AUSA

J.D. Leipold
Army News Service

WASHINGTON — Congress is considering legislation to provide the Army Reserve with broader authority to call up troops for homeland security and also allow the force to deploy units for operations lasting 120 days or less.

Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, chief, Army Reserve, said the legislation would grant authority to call up as many as 60,000 reservists, per year, from all services, for unnamed contingencies, both inside and outside the country.

He spoke about the proposed expansion of Title 10 authority following a seminar at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, here, Oct. 11.

“For homeland use, current law says you can only use your Title 10 Reserve in the homeland in instances of weapons of mass destruction,” Stultz said, adding that the Army Reserve isn’t trying to insert itself or replace the National Guard.

“There should be a logical progression, just like there is now, where local civil authorities respond; then the governor calls up the National Guard. And in 90 percent of the cases, that’s all that’s needed, but in that other 10 percent, where the state needs federal help, we’d be available with a lot of needed expertise,” Stultz said.

Additionally, the Army Reserve has sought the Title 10 change to allow it to support operations that are usually 90- to 120-day deployments with one unit for the entire duration, rather than two or three units in that same period of time.

The Reserve is also looking at creating an operational reserve of about 25,000 Soldiers, of which 5,000 could be pulled, trained and ready whenever the country needed them. This change would keep the rotational cycle ideal at one year out, four years back, Stultz said.

Presently, the rotational cycles for the majority of units are about 12 months out and 42 months back. He said some units, such as aviation units, are still high demand in Afghanistan, while others, like logistics units, are coming down from Iraq.

As budgets shrink and the force becomes smaller, Soldier standards will be more closely looked at, he said, and leaders are concerned with the possibility of automatic budget cuts that would kick in if there’s no agreement on the $1.5 trillion deficit reduction.

“If sequestration kicks in, we don’t want to end up doing what we’ve done in the past, where we focus on how to get people off the rolls, not which people off the rolls,” he said. “We don’t want to ‘incentivize’ the wrong people to leave the service.

“We need to upgrade the standards, and if you can’t get there, you can’t stay in,” Stultz continued. “We can make room for those we want to keep.”

Tags: ,

Category: Army News Service, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *