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Family Policy Issues

As the importance of the National Guard and Reserve

contributions to the Total Force increases, the families of

guardsmen and reservists are affected in important ways. The results of the recently released member portion of the Reserve Component Family Survey demonstrate that the presence or absence of family support is a very significant factor in the retention and readiness of the Reserves. It is incumbent on us, therefore, to develop programs which include and directly support the

families of reservists.

The soon to be released results of the spousal portion of

the Survey will further reinforce the importance of the family in

this equation and will provide areas of specific concern that can

be targeted by future initiatives.

The two portions of the

Survey are the most comprehensive and accurate appraisals of
Reserve and National Guard attitudes ever taken, and I am

confident that they represent a blueprint for issues and action

for years to come.

We must ensure that Guardsmen, Reservists,

and their families are appropriately considered in all quality of

life issues. They must be part of the Department of Defense family if we are to retain the kind of high caliber reservists

who are necessary for the expanding missions.

Reserve Component Medical Readiness

Achieving the ability to respond quickly and adequately to a wartime casualty flow has been one of the most critical goals of

my office and of the office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for

Health Affairs.

Members of the staffs of both offices serve on

all of the major medical readiness related groups within the

Department and they continue to work together.

The Department

and the Services have taken a variety of actions to resolve this

serious problem.

Each of the Services has committed significant recruiting

resources to increase needed medical manpower.

All of the

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wartime specialties, were approved by Congress during FY 1986.

The Congress authorized a stipend program for selected specialists in training and extended the educational loan

repayment program to critically short health care professionals

in the Reserve components, and provided authority to award

constructive service credit for nursing experience.

I believe

that these programs, coupled with the age and experience

authority, will greatly assist us in reducing critical medical

wartime shortages.

During the course of our work with the professional medical

associations, we discovered a lack of awareness about

opportunities in the Reserve.

This lack of awareness has surely

been an obstacle to reducing the shortfalls.

In order to address

this concern, the Office of Health Affairs will begin a Direct

Mail Marketing Campaign in March, 1988.

Physicians and nurses

will be contacted through a personal, signed letter from

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800 telephone number and a business reply card in the event that they desire additional information.

The professional medical associations assert that there are

a significant number of physicians and nurses who will join a

Reserve component if the time required is minimal.

We have

explored this need in the context of the Individual Ready Reserve and the Air Force is conducting a pilot program to test this type of participation option. The member would train five days annually for indoctrination, medical readiness training, contingency hospital familiarization and active duty facility tours. In conjunction with this concept, the Air Force is exploring the recruitment of surgical teams. This is similar to

the civilian hospital unit utilized during WWI and WWII that was

so successful.

We are continuing our vigorous efforts to explore

these and any other programs that will provide a readily

accessible pool of qualified medical professionals who could be

utilized to meet wartime requirements.

Coast Guard Reserve

We remain concerned that the shortfall in the Reserve

Training Appropriation for Fiscal Year 1988 will make it

necessary to reduce Coast Guard Reserve strength level to that of

two years ago

12,000.

The Coast Guard Reserve's fill rate of

mobilization requirements is far below that of other Reserve components. This poses a serious National Security problem in

their mobilization missions of Harbor Defense and Port Security

which are critical to strategic mobility.

Section 507 of the National Defense Authorization Act for

1988 and 1989 expressed the concern of the Congress in this vein

and required submission of a ten year plan to enable the Coast

Guard to meet 95% of its wartime mobilization requirements for

Selected Reserve strength, recruiting and training resources,

and

equipment and logistic support.

The President's Budget for 1989

proposes a funding level that will permit the Coast Guard

Selected Reserve to grow back to 13,000 by the end of the year.

I believe it imperative to National Defense planning that this

partial restoration of Coast Guard Reserve strength receive your

support in the Fiscal Year 1989 authorization and appropriation

process.

National Guard and Reserve Equipment

During FY 1987, the Department of Defense and the Services

continued to improve the equipment status of the National Guard

and Reserve Forces.

The impact of DoD and Congressional funding

of Reserve component equipment in recent years is being reflected in both improved capabilities and equipment fill rates.

Our FY 1989 report to the Congress on the status of National

Guard and Reserve equipment, which is based on a representative

sampling of 1,443 major line items of Reserve component

equipment, shows that equipment valued at $9.9 billion was

delivered to National Guard and Reserve Forces during FY 1987.

This included 286 aircraft, 231 helicopters, four ships, 740

tanks, 72 howitzers, and more than 12,000 tactical and support

vehicles.

Current projections from this report also indicate a

continued high, albeit declining in the out-years, level of distribution to the Reserve components, averaging $8 billion annually over the next four years.

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Based on this representative sample, if the National Guard

and Reserve forces were mobilized at the beginning of FY 1989,

they would be able to field approximately 80 percent of their

required equipment, in terms of dollar value.

Through the use of

available substitute items, this capability could be raised to

approximately 84 percent.

The outlook for further progress in reducing National Guard

and Reserve equipment shortfalls is becoming increasingly

uncertain in light of evolving budgetary constraints.

Overall

Service planned procurement for FY 1989 is down by more than

$14.0 billion compared to that planned for FY 1989 in the

President's Budget last year.

This reduction, which exceeds 15

percent, will adversely impact the equipment status of the

Reserve components in two ways

first, in reduced funding for

new procurements specifically for the Reserves and, second, through a reduced flow of combat serviceable equipment from the

Active components.

Current Service plans for Reserve component equipment procurement are contained in the Department's P-1R report which accompanies the President's Budget. It reflects the types, quantities and costs of equipment items proposed for procurement

for the Reserve components.

The report identifies equipment

procurement of $2.3 billion in FY 1989 for the National Guard and

Reserve, a reduction of 8 percent compared to that planned for FY

1989 in the last year's President's Budget.

The Department of the Army has requested $1.3 billion in FY

1989 for procurement for Army Reserve components.

The request

includes $1.0 billion for Army National Guard procurement and

$276 million for Army Reserve procurement.

The Department of the Navy has requested $189 million for

procurement of Naval Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve equipment.

The Navy's request includes $44 million for Marine Corps Reserve

procurement and approximately $145 million for Naval Reserve

procurement.

The Department of the Air Force has requested $842 million

in FY 1989 for its Reserve components.

The Air Force request

includes $661 million for the Air National Guard procurement and $181 million for Air Force Reserve procurement.

Even if we achieve one hundred percent of our current

equipment redistribution and procurement plans, equipment

shortfalls will remain.

Data from our FY 1989 National Guard and

Reserve Equipment Report indicates a shortfall at the end of FY

1991 of approximately $7 billion.

While this is a significant

improvement over the $10-11 billion mobilization shortfall

forecast last year, further progress in closing the gap between

equipment-on-hand and wartime requirement is becoming

increasingly difficult, given the greater competition for limited

budget resources.

Force structure adjustments made necessary by

reduced resource levels may also have a significant impact on the

pace of future progress in eliminating this deficit.

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