Reservists sought for contingencies
Stars and Stripes June 8, 2007
ARLINGTON, Va. — U.S. Joint Forces Command is looking for 240 reservists interested in manning teams that jump-start the opening of joint task force headquarters during contingencies, such as Hurricane Katrina.
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the concept of the 57-member teams, called Standing Joint Forces Headquarters Core Elements, six years ago.
The teams come in at the beginning of a contingency to help task force commanders integrate air, land, maritime and information capabilities that make up a joint task force headquarters, according to Navy Rear Adm. M. Stewart O’Bryan, who is director of the U.S. Joint Forces Command’s Standing Joint Forces Headquarters (Core Element) in Norfolk, Va.
Once the headquarters is up and running, the team goes back to USJFCOM in Norfolk to evaluate its experience and decide how to use its lessons to improve the next deployment, O’Bryan told Stars and Stripes on Tuesday.
Except for U.S. Central Command, each geographic combatant commands now has its own team, which includes 37 active-duty members and 20 reservists. CENTCOM has been too busy with the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan to stand up its own team, O’Bryan said.
Now that the concept of the headquarters is established, USJFCOM is ready to take the next step: establish a roster of 240 reservists, from all the services, to man the two core teams assigned to Norfolk.
The skills O’Bryan needs, he said, run the gamut, from logistics to special operations, joint network operations, planning and others.
O’Bryan said he is looking mostly for officers in the ranks of 0-3 to 0-6, but is also seeking 22 enlisted members in the ranks of E-7 to E-9.
Once trained, each reservist will be available for a specific 90-day alert window, during which time he or she must be prepared to deploy anywhere in the world within 72 hours.