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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 078-98
February 22, 1998

SECRETARY COHEN REQUESTS RESERVE CALL-UP AUTHORITY; PLANS TO CALL ABOUT 500 TO SUPPORT GULF DEPLOYMENTS

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has asked President William J. Clinton for the authority to call-up selected members of the National Guard and Reserves in support of operations in Southwest Asia under the Presidential Selected Reserve Call-up Authority (10 U.S.C. 12304). The order would authorize the Secretary of Defense to proceed with plans to call about 500 members of the National Guard and Reserve to assist with current deployments in the region. Those units called would bring additional logistical and combat support skills to the operation.

If approved, Secretary Cohen will delegate to the military departments the authority to order to active duty Selected Reserve units for a period of up to 270 days.

Our nation's total force policy has involved National Guard and Reserve forces with active duty training, equipment and operations for more than 29 years. National Guard, reserve units, and individuals are organized to provide additional force structure for active duty operations. In some special skill areas, these units and individuals provide the majority of the military's force structure and capability. Therefore, the participation by the Reserve components in support of Southwest Asia operations has been envisioned from the early stages of planning. More than 1,000 Reserve component volunteers are already serving on active duty in support of Operation Southern Watch.