By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Womble, Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON -- More than 120 members of Reserve units throughout the Navy Installations Enterprise participated in Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2017, an anti-terrorism/force protection exercise conducted across Navy installations within the continental U.S.
During the exercise, members of the Reserve force came alongside their active-duty counterparts to augment crisis action teams and security forces at the headquarters, region, and installation in order to expeditiously respond to threats presented to military assets.
"I truly think we are a force multiplier in everything we do and especially when the nation calls -- and they call in crisis," said Rear Adm. Matthew O'Keefe, Reserve deputy commander, Navy Installations Command. "There are a lot of Reservists who have tremendous talents outside of what they do in uniform."
An example of the Navy harnessing these talents can be seen throughout the Navy security force (NSF).
According to Navy Security Force Naval Station Everett Commanding Officer, Ensign Mark Smith, a 26-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, "Navy security force personnel bring a unique perspective because many are civilian police officers or detention personnel. Their unique skill sets and civilian experience can bring a different perspective. They are fully-qualified NSF personnel, and can serve as an immediate resource."
As the security condition of the base increases, there is an increased need for security personnel. In the event of a crisis, the 72 Reserve NSF units at the individual installations around the world surge to augment their active-duty counterparts and ensure their force protection levels are able to be sustained.
Since it is hard to predict when a crisis will happen, budgeting for the response to a crisis is challenging.
"You can't budget for a crisis; you can plan, but you can't budget for it," said O'Keefe. "When something happens and we need to activate those operations centers, whether it's a terrorist event or a natural disaster, those unit folks come in and assume roles in the crisis action teams."
The Navy Reserve provides essential naval warfighting capabilities and expertise, strategically aligned with mission requirements. The Reserve force's flexibility, responsiveness, and ability to serve across a wide spectrum of operations clearly enhances the Navy total force.
Navy Installations Command is comprised of approximately 3,500 Reservists spanning a wide range of units around the world.
Navy Installations Command is responsible for the operations, maintenance, and quality of life programs to support the Navy's fleet, Sailors, and their families.
Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Womble is a Reserve public affairs officer attached to Commander, Navy Installations Command.