Defense Department Calls for Service Reports on Reserve Needs
By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 18, 2007 A top defense logistics official has asked the services to report on their reserve-component needs by the end of the month.
The request was in response to Defense Department concerns about the schedule and funding requirements for the National Guard and reserves, P. Jackson Bell, deputy undersecretary of defense for logistics and material readiness, told the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves on May 16.
Bell said he shared the commission’s concerns that the operations tempo of the reserve components has increased at a far greater pace than resourcing. He added that the department is taking “proactive steps to mitigate those concerns.”
The reports will include a schedule by year with requirements for individual types of items, actual equipment on hand, and “fill rate.” They also will reflect planned changes.
“The new reporting requirements will provide much-needed visibility into the plan for meeting resource requirements and materiel readiness of the National Guard and reserve components, and it will enable increased oversight to ensure the materiel readiness improvements are realized,” he said.
Bell said the department owes it to reserve troops and the nation to ensure they are properly equipped and funded.
Bell’s testimony came the same day as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ call for policy changes to how the Defense Department it determines funding and resourcing for the reserves, including civil support requirements.