The Army Reserve stands ready to provide significant relief when disaster strikes the homeland, the component’s second-in-command told an audience of experts last month.
“Under NDIAA 2012 [that year’s defense-spending bill], the Army Reserve provides federal support to Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) during emergencies working in conjunction with Army North and other federal, state and local partners to save lives, prevent human suffering, and mitigate great property damage,” Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Mosser, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, said during the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Mosser alluded to the considerable experience Army reservists gleaned in recent years, as the nation was besieged by several severe hurricanes while the Covid-19 pandemic was in full force. During the pandemic, for example, he said the reserve mobilized more than 3,000 soldiers.
The reserve, he said, came in where needed to support lead local and federal agencies. Reserve soldiers provided airlift, search-and-rescue, extraction, civil affairs, public information and engineering services. Additionally, these soldiers provided food, shelter, drinking water, heated tents and other quartermaster services when needed.
“We can move search and rescue teams through the air or on the ground, we can provide the movement of commodities such as water and food, we can pump water from flooded areas, and we can use our engineer capabilities to clear roads and debris so those involved in response and recovery operations can do their jobs quickly and efficiently,” Mosser said.
The Army Reserve’s ability to help when needed works, Mosser said, because its leaders continually reach out to local and state governments before disaster hits and let them know which resources would be available when they are needed.