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Reservists reorganize to be ready for active duty

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Air Force Reserve Command with its headquarters here is working with other major commands to streamline management of individual mobilization augmentees.

In the past, the Air Force’s 12,900 IMAs in the Selected Reserve reported administratively to the various active-duty units where most of them are assigned. That’s changing for these reservists who serve along with 63,200 other Airmen in the command’s unit program.

“Air Force Reserve Command started reorganizing the management of the Individual Mobilization Augmentee program the beginning of April,” said Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley, AFRC commander. “Our goal is to ensure that the reservists in this program are ready to support the Global War on Terrorism.”

AFRC has about 2,500 Citizen Airmen mobilized by the president. Another 2,200 reservists are volunteers working in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle. Since Sept. 11, 2001, about 30,300 Air Force reservists have been mobilized up to two years on active duty.

Typically, individual mobilization augmentees serve in active-duty units about 24 days a year. They often stand in for deployed active-duty Airmen and may volunteer for deployments themselves.

“We are reorganizing the IMA program so that our command is on top of making sure all our reservists are 100 percent ready to do their jobs,” said Maj. Gen. Charles E. Stenner, director of plans and programs at AFRC headquarters. “Before this, there was very little standardization in the personnel programs used to support the12,900 IMAs. Now we will ensure more consistent support and training.”

Starting April 1, program managers and base individual mobilization augmentee administrators began transitioning under AFRC’s chain of command. An updated Air Force Instruction 36-2629, Individual Mobilization Augmentee Management, spells out these changes.

“To make the chain of command more effective, this reorganization will establish an IMA Readiness Management Group at Robins Air Force Base,” said General Stenner. “This new commander will be responsible for providing the best possible personnel support to our IMAs.”

Colonel Roxane Towner is selected as the first commander for the new Readiness Management Group. Currently, she is the reserve advisor to the commander of Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, Texas. She is expected to begin her new job at the end of June.

“The active-duty commanders have OPCON or operational control of the reservists attached to their units,” said General Bradley. “But the active duty commanders share ADCON or administrative control with AFRC.”

Operational command means following orders to accomplish the mission. Active-duty commanders will also be responsible for discipline, internal organization, and unit training. The new IMA Readiness Management Group will oversee day-to-day personnel actions and assist with tracking training for the IMA program.

“IMAs continue to report to their active-duty supervisors for execution of their assigned tasks,” said Maj. Gen. Marvin Barry, Mobilization Assistant to the AFRC commander. “General Stenner and I have stressed this to the active-duty major command commanders when we briefed the new structure and its implications around the Air Force.”

As the single point of contact between IMA reservists and their units, the new IMA Readiness Management Group will be responsible for all personnel issues affecting IMAs. These issues include formalized training, enlisted programs, assisting with retirements, performance reports, assignments, mobilization, and tracking participation.

“IMAs work in all the other major commands,” said General Bradley. “And this is a win/win situation for our national defense. By working at the other major commands part time, these reservists give their service, continuity and experience to our military but still have the flexibility to pursue their civilian jobs.”