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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 197-99
April 27, 1999

SECRETARY COHEN ANNOUNCES PRESIDENTIAL SELECTED RESERVE CALL-UP

President Bill Clinton has approved Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen's request for a Presidential Selected Reserve Call-up (PSRC) to support NATO operations over Kosovo. The PSRC for NATO operations authorizes Cohen to call 33,102 members of the Selected Reserve to active duty. The initial call-up of approximately 2,000 personnel will focus on air-refueling capabilities. Additional units may be called in future as required.

"Until now, we have been able to meet many of our military requirements for operations in the Balkans using volunteers from the National Guard and Reserve who have been serving side-by-side with the active forces," said Cohen. "Ongoing operations now require more support from the Reserve forces. The PSRC is designed to help us meet those expanding needs."

This PSRC further underscores the vital role of Reserve forces in our post-Cold War national military strategy. The 1.4 million men and women who serve in the seven Reserve components make up one half of the U.S. Armed Forces, and they form an integral part of our nation's military. For example, 55 percent of the total air refueling capability in the Air Force is in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

In support of NATO operations in the Balkans today, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve forces are accomplishing about half of all air refueling. Without those vital contributions, our military forces could not perform their missions anywhere in the world today, including the Balkans. The PSRC also further underscores our national resolve to achieve our objectives in the region.

"The changed nature of today's Total Force means that we cannot undertake sustained operations anywhere in the world without using the National Guard and Reserve," said Charles L. Cragin, acting assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. "They are absolutely vital to our national military strategy."

Title 10, United States Code, section 12304 authorizes the statutory call to active duty of up to 200,000 members of the Selected Reserve and the Individual Ready Reserve, of whom not more than 30,000 may be members of the Individual Ready Reserve, for 270 days when deemed necessary to augment the active component for any operational mission. This period includes time for mobilization, demobilization, and accrued leave. The effective tour length for a reservist in support of NATO operations will be about six months.

"Now that we are calling Reservists to active duty in support of NATO operations, we want to say thank you again to their employers," said Cragin. "Reservists have civilian jobs--and we deeply appreciate the support that their employers provide."

President Clinton previously authorized a PSRC Sept. 15, 1994, for Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY for humanitarian operations in Haiti; Dec. 8, 1995, for Bosnia peace operations in and around the former Yugoslavia in Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR and JOINT GUARD; and Feb. 24, 1998, for Southwest Asia operations. President Bush used the PSRC authority in August 1990 for Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM during the Gulf War.

Under the Bosnia and Southwest Asia PSRCs, which remain in effect, we continue to call reservists involuntarily to active duty, and have called over 18,000 and 700, respectively, for those operations.

The first increment of the latest PSRC calls to active duty 26 aircraft and 1,015 airmen from the following units to replace volunteers in the Allied Force theatre of operations:

Unit Location Reserve Force Aircraft Personnel
161st Air Refueling Wing Phoenix, Ariz. Air National Guard 4 236
171st Air Refueling Wing Pittsburgh, Pa. Air National Guard 14 470
927th Air Refueling Wing Detroit, Mich. Air Force Reserve 0 59
940th Air Refueling Wing Marysville, Calif. Air Force Reserve 8 250

The PSRC also calls to active duty 21 additional aircraft and 1,101 airmen from the following units:

Unit Location Reserve Force Aircraft Personnel
117th Air RefuelingWing Birmingham, Ala. Air National Guard 6 210
128th AirRefuelingWing Milwaukee, Wis. Air National Guard 6 281
161st Air Refueling Wing Phoenix, Ariz. Air National Guard 2 48
434th Air Refueling Wing Kokomo, Ind. Air Force Reserve 7 498
931st Air Refueling Group Wichita, Kan. Air Force Reserve 0 64

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