Successes, challenges theme of annual joint reserve force summit

By Kristin Molinaro DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Military reservists and Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime leaders joined together Jan. 4 during the Joint Forces Operational Summit at the Defense Supply Center Columbus.

The annual summit helps military reservists stay connected with the command in order to maximize support to the warfighter, and is typically one of the few opportunities throughout the year that the Joint Reserve Force staff have to network with the full-time military staff at DLA Land and Maritime. The force’s reserve personnel provide support to DLA missions across the globe to include operational support, surge capability and exercise support planning augmentation.

DLA Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. John Palmer welcomed the JRF before relinquishing the floor to the day’s keynote speaker, Navy Rear Adm. Deborah Haven, Joint Reserve Force director.

“DLA is the premier military logistics agency in the world, and the global reach that this organization has is phenomenal – it’s very impressive and also very daunting,” Haven said. “I’d like to say thank you to each and every one of our reservists for what you do. You have civilian jobs, you have families and you have a reserve role here too.”

Haven shared the vision and strategic goals of the JRF for the coming year and pointed toward filling available military spots as a critical need in 2019 – with the force looking to increase support to DLA’s major subordinate commands.

Currently, only 86 percent of JRF slots are filled, the director said, addressing the need to recruit additional military talent. Navy and Air Force reservists are needed to fill the majority of the remaining open slots due to their technical skill sets.  

“Our requirements are significant,” Haven said. “On any given day we have about 73 reservists on active duty.”

In Fiscal Year 2018, the JRF contributed more than 14,700 man-days of DLA mission support and averaged 48 reservists on contingency operations. Additionally, the team participated in 19 exercises across the globe, including Pacific Sentry, Saber Strike and the Rim of the Pacific Exercise – the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. The force also piloted an expeditionary capability supporting DLA Support Teams. Locally, reservists worked on several special projects for DLA Land and Maritime to help with audit readiness and reducing backorders to customers.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Amanda Felix, Navy Master Chief James Hershberger, Army Capt. Garland “Kip” Fleming and Army Master Sgt. Tadd Long were each recognized for their contributions over the previous year.

Following Haven’s presentation, DLA Land and Maritime civilians gave presentations on the impact the military reservists have had on operational and strategic goals. Presenters included Maritime Customer Operations’ John O’Keefe; Supplier Operations’ Doris Cluff; Strategic Acquisitions Programs’ Russell Edwards and Maritime Supplier Operations’ J.B. Camechis. DLA Land and Maritime’s Joint Reserve Team gave updates that touched on Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps activities and initiatives. The summit concluded with a deployment update provided by Michael Eby, DLA Land and Maritime’s readiness officer.