Washington legislators see needs, abilities of Army Reserve
December 23, 2011
TACOMA, Washington (Dec. 23, 2011) -- In the Army the words training, deploy and mobilize are used constantly in talking about Soldier readiness.
The 88th Regional Support Command conducted an Army Reserve Day in Washington State to demonstrate the needs and capabilities of the Army Reserve in conjunction with operational readiness.
The units in the area represent the diverse makeup of the Army Reserve. These units include the 104th Training Division, which provides education for officer training; the 301st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, which deploys to a theater to provide operational and tactical support; the 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, which provides command and control for logistics.
Other units in the state stretch across the spectrum of Army occupations from medical to military intelligence, and aviation to civil affairs.
The day began with a brief about the Army Reserve to representatives from the areas legislative leaders. From there, the attendees saw Pier 23 where there was a sampling of the Army's "naval forces." It is little known fact that the Army has more watercraft than the Navy. The boats are used to transport equipment and supplies to theaters of operation while achieving economical transportation costs.
The day ended with a visit to some of the facilities in the southwest Washington area. There are about 40 facilities in Washington that support the Army Reserve.
The funding reduction resulting from 2005 Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, moves, caused units in the area to have less ready-available space for equipment storage and maintenance. This visit and tour of the Army Reserve centers helped the Army Reserve show their need to Washington's legislators. Currently units face challenges in maintaining equipment due to the lack of space.
An additional issue brought up was the lack of maintenance personnel to do the maintenance work on the equipment that steadily goes through the facilities.
Finally, the event was designed to educate the lawmakers about the overall struggles facing service members with regard to civilian employment. The Army Reserve Employer Partnership Initiative has been expanded to include the Armed Forces. This program provides access to over 700,000 jobs and includes 2,500 employers. The program helps focus the armed forces personnel to gravitate to skills related to their education and military experience.
"The Soldiers and employees of Army Reserve in Washington are very grateful for the support and interest of our congressional team," said Maj. Gen. Glenn Lesniak, 88th Regional Support Command commanding general. "We were very pleased to have had such a great day to share with them the tremendous capabilities that we bring to defending our nation."
The Army Reserve has provided support in defense of America for over 103 years. The Soldiers of the Army Reserve have contributed to every conflict since World War I. Over the last ten years the Army Reserve has been the go to force for the Army in its diverse needs.