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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
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
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.
and the Services have taken a variety of actions to resolve this
Each of the Services has committed significant recruiting
resources to increase needed medical manpower.
All of the
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.
that these programs, coupled with the age and experience
authority, will greatly assist us in reducing critical medical
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
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.
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.