NOSC Little Rock Staff Bolster Reserve Sailor Readiness during Year’s First Drill Weekend
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Lawrence Davis, Navy Region Southeast Reserve Component Command Fort Worth Public Affairs
| Jan. 11, 2021
FORT WORTH, Texas —
In the first drill weekend of 2021, Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Little Rock staff engaged nearly 150 Reserve Sailors to conduct tailored training, administer physical health assessments and immunizations, and to facilitate establishing communication between each Reserve Sailor and their respective units.
NOSC Little Rock serves as a readiness generation center for Reserve Sailors, ensuring mobilization and warfighting readiness. NOSCs like Little Rock play a critical role in meeting the intent and requirements of the Chief of Navy Reserve’s newly released 2020 Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions.
“With regard to the Fighting Instructions, we have boiled down administrative requirements to a more concise essence of what Reserve Sailors need to mobilize,” said NOSC Little Rock Commanding Officer Cmdr. Johnathon Wainwright. “Distributed Mobilization and the Fighting Instructions have helped us better understand what the true ‘show-stoppers’ are and what metrics impact deployability."
“In the past, we would create an ‘everything bagel’ training plan that left little time for our augment units and cross-assigned personnel to discuss their mobilization missions and billet requirements,” explained Wainwright. “Feedback from unit leadership and a more strategic focus from Reserve Region Component Command Fort Worth Commander, Capt. Mark Hofmann, helped us better align to the vision in the Fighting Instructions.”
While employing a more streamlined approach to mission readiness, the NOSC staff remained focused on mitigating risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19.
“Safety, health and wellness are still a top concern,” said Yeoman 1st Class Jessica Holland, the NOSC leading petty officer. “We have been very creative. The units have been minimizing the risk of COVID-19 exposure by implementing a blue and gold duty section type of structure where on one day half the units drill onsite and the other half virtually, and then they swap.”
Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Jeff Tabor, Reserve senior enlisted leader for Navy Reserve Operational Health Support Unit Pensacola Det. J, says returning to on-site drill weekends is important even with the challenges of the ongoing pandemic.
“It keeps the warfighter ready to mobilize,” Tabor said. “Inventing these creative methods of conducting our drill weekends onsite helps to ensure that nothing, as it pertains to our readiness, is overlooked or left out. At the end of the day, we have one job, and that’s to mobilize, so staying mission ready is paramount.”
Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Conrad Shirar, a Reserve Sailor scheduled to mobilize soon as part of a maritime security force team, shared his perspective with regard to the effectiveness of drill weekends.
“I’m ecstatic,” Shirar said. “I’m not going to lie, I am a little nervous, but it’s a great honor to do something like this and serve my country as a member of the Navy Reserve.”
“This will be my first deployment in the Navy Reserve, and I’m not sure that you can ever be fully prepared for something like this,” he said. “But the training I received with my unit and the NOSC has definitely been instrumental in my preparation to go downrange.”
For more information on the Navy Reserve visit www.navyreserve.navy.mil.