President Clinton signed the executive order today authorizing the call-up of 500 members of the National Guard and Reserve in support of operations in and around Southwest Asia under the Presidential Selected Reserve Call-up Authority (10 U.S.C. 12304).
The order provides the Secretary of Defense the authority to call to active duty selected reserve units, as well as individuals, for possible participation in the deployment of active duty forces in Southwest Asia.
Acting on this authority, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen delegated to the military departments the authority to order to active duty selected reserve units and individual members not assigned to units for a period of up to 270 days.
Types of units that may make up those who will be called include Army chemical company, Air Force Special Operations C-130 aircrews, Navy harbor surveillance personnel and Coast Guard Port Security.
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.
Actual notifications will be made by the respective military components.
Orders for an initial call-up could come within 24 hours.
Individuals and units notified for possible activation will proceed immediately to home station training and take care of personal matters in preparation for call-up.