By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Charles Panter, Navy Reserve Regional Component Command Northwest
“I took my youngest son to a Blue Angels air show on Naval Air Station Jacksonville and thought ‘gosh, I really miss this more than I ever thought I would,’” Bass said. The thought brought him to a recruiter’s office only six months after leaving active duty.
Bass joined the Navy Reserve as a general practitioner and served in the role until 2007. He went on to train as a flight surgeon training at Naval Air Station Pensacola supporting the Marine Corps Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 774.
Once the Bass children were grown and out on their own, Bass and his wife moved to Washington State, where they both currently practice medicine in their civilian careers.
There, Bass began a normal medical officer tour with the Operational Health Support Unit Everett, Washington, assisting Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Everett Sailors stay mobilization ready. That all changed once the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The Navy Reserve response to the pandemic created an opportunity for Bass to be part of a shift in how the Reserve force handles mobilizations. For him, it started with a position change. “I was recalled to a newly created position as the Regional Medical Director of Navy Region Northwest Reserve Component Command (RCC) Everett,” he said.
His role was to support the new Navy Reserve Distributed Mobilization concept, a program designed to deploy Reserve members at the regional level. With the safety precautions and the immediate need for Reserve support, the Navy Reserve has been unable to send all of the needed Sailors through the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center in Norfolk for mobilization processing. The Distributed Mobilization initiative Bass now supports is building the capability of individual regions to step in and process Sailors through his work as a Local Area Coordinator for Mobilizations (LACMOB).
Bass has been enthusiastic about his RCC’s progress.
“We have our LACMOB event in about six weeks,” said Bass. “The effort here is to demonstrate that at the region level RCCs can mobilize their Sailors without having to go to a centralized area,” said Bass “Hopefully, at the end of this event, we will be able to begin mobilizing straight forward to the continental United States. The goal is to make the Reserve more effective, more flexible lethal.”
Looking to the future, Bass sees the Distributed Mobilization process as a critical part of the Chief of Navy Reserve’s 2020 Fighting Instruction and a vital, strategic part of the Navy’s success in the era of Great Power Competition.
“This need is here to stay,” said Bass. “As we go through the next year or two, we are going to learn a lot of lessons that we will be able to share with the other regions. I think that we could see the different regions tailoring the way they mobilize Sailors. A lot of these NOSCs are in remote areas, so we’re going to need to be resourceful.”