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NEWS | June 22, 2021

Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions Video Series – Design the Force

By Commander, Navy Reserve Force Public Affairs

VIDEO | 04:41 | Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions Video Series – Design the Force

Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions Video Series – Design the Force (U.S. Navy video by Commander, Navy Reserve Force Public Affairs)

CNR Mustin: Hello team,
I’m Vice Adm. John Mustin, chief of Navy Reserve and commander, Navy Reserve Force. This is the second video in our four-part series on the Navy Reserve Fighting Instructions.
Following two decades of counter-insurgency support for the Global War on Terrorism, the fighting instructions provide our action plan to transform the Navy Reserve into the warfighting-ready, strategic force the Navy, Marine Corps and joint forces require in an era of long-term strategic competition.
This transformative plan of attack includes three primary lines of effort: design the force, train the force, and mobilize the force.
I’m joined today by my friend, Rear Adm. Shawn Duane, who is spearheading the design the force line of effort. As such, I’m counting on him to shape our force for tomorrow’s fight. A fight likely to be against a peer adversary.
RDM Duane: Thank you, CNR.
Shipmates, the design the force line of effort centers identifying warfighting capabilities best suited for the Reserve Component based on Navy requirements, and assessments of what the Reserve Force can deliver at a reduced cost with acceptable risk, relative to the active component.

We have identified growth areas based on a strategic depth assessment we developed in coordination with the combatant commanders, type commands, system commands and numbered fleets.

A few of these growth areas include:
  • Operational Level of War (or “OLW”). The active component values increasing our OLW capacity and capability, particularly in the maritime operations centers.
  • Expeditionary logistics: This involves our warfighting skills in and around our Marine Corps partners … specifically, expeditionary advanced base operations and littoral operations in a contested environment.
  • Afloat support: We are looking at restoring seagoing ratings and afloat operations that bring reserve sailors back to the waterfront. In addition to cru-des roles, this could include support for hospital ships, littoral combat ships, and upcoming light amphibious warships.
  • Surge maintenance: Often called SurgeMain, this Reserve-unique competency fulfills critical ship and submarine sustainment needs. Recently over 1,300 SurgeMain sailors were mobilized to our public shipyards to reduce maintenance backlogs brought on by COVID-19. This was a huge success. We must evolve our capability to include expeditionary maintenance, in theatre.
  • Medical: COVID certainly reaffirmed the need for our Navy Reserve medical community, and we are prepared to address both medical capacity and capabilities relative to great power competition moving forward.
  • Space: We are adding subject matter experts to major and numbered fleet MOCs to provide commanders with situational awareness in the space domain.
  • Cyber: Citizen-sailors have unique skills from their civilian employment in the cyber realm, particularly in cyber defense, expeditionary network and communications, and cyber planning. We need to leverage this expertise.
  • Emerging technologies: Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, big data, data visualization and predictive analysis have immense potential to alter the nature and pace of warfare. We are evaluating whether to create Reserve units to exploit advantages in these emerging technologies.
  • Finally… Unmanned systems: Unmanned sensors and shooters will play a pivotal role in our ability to compete and win in contested maritime environments. The Reserve Component is a cost-effective option to make unmanned systems an integral part of future force design and activation.
While we assess these key capabilities, we are also scrutinizing every Reserve billet and unit for its fit within our warfighting readiness structure. Billets that are not in line with the Navy’s GPC strategy will be restructured elsewhere to align with long-term strategic competition.
If you have any thoughts on moving this line of effort forward, please send them to me up through your chain of command.
Sir, back to you.
CNR Mustin: Thank you, Shawn. The design the force line of effort is a critical component of our transformation to a future-ready force.
While Rear Admiral Duane and his team are moving out on the design the force line of effort, we are concurrently moving forward on our other two lines of effort: train the force and mobilize the force. Our next two video episodes will look at each of these in more detail.
Keep up the great work, shipmates. We have some work to do.
Now, let’s get busy.