An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

BIMAAs ensure readiness of Air Force's strategic reserve

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Vanessa Young
  • Defense Media Activity-San Antonio
As the Air Force's operations tempo changes, so does the role of Air Force Reserve individual mobilization augmentees.

Today, these Airmen called IMAs, are the Air Force's strategic reserve. They serve whenever, in whatever capacity necessary to complete the Air Force mission. At times, IMAs backfill during manning shortages; other times they deploy alongside their active-duty counterparts. This total integration has proven invaluable during these times of extended increased operations.

"The Air Force has been engaged in combat for more than 16 years, and the Air Force Reserve has been and will continue to be an integral part of that effort," said Maj. Gen. Robert E. Duignan, the 4th Air Force commander during a recent worldwide Web cast panel discussion. "We maintain a combat-ready force that has a 72-hour response to global crisis with a single level of readiness with a full spectrum of combat operations."

Since IMAs serve as individuals as opposed to being a part of a unit, that level of readiness is ensured by the base individual mobilization augmentee administrator, called BIMAAs.

A BIMAA's role includes training, orientating IMAs to their responsibilities and tracking participation.

A typical day in the life of a BIMAA is anything but typical, said Senior Master Sgt. Patricia Lawrence, the BIMAA at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Though personnelists by trade, Sergeant Lawrence said she and her counterpart, Master Sgt. Christine Tindal, are jacks-of-all-trades when it comes to their role as BIMAAs.

"Any IMA issue regardless if its personnel, finance or medical ends up at our door step and it's our job to help them," she said.

BIMAAs also serve as a liaison for the IMA and the active-duty units they support.

Lackland AFB has a large IMA population contributing to its medical, intelligence and training missions. Along with supporting the IMAs, Sergeant Lawrence said they work hand in hand with their active-duty counterparts to ensure the units understand their responsibilities to the IMAs.

"The BIMAAs provide a multitude of support for unit reserve coordinators," said Master Sgt. Simone Sauceda, the 37th Security Forces Squadron unit Reserve coordinator.

BIMAAs provided training on roles and responsibilities and continue to provide guidance on all administrative actions for the IMAs assigned to a unit, said Sergeant Sauceda, who is also an IMA.

The BIMAAs' commitment to providing a mutual understanding of roles and responsibilities contributes to the success of the program.

"A frequent compliment we get is that our active duty can't tell whether they are working with an active-duty Airman or an IMA," Sergeant Lawrence said.

BIMAAs' commitment is also recognized by Lt. Col. Holly Ortega, an IMA to the chief of education and training at Lackland AFB. She said she receives a lot of support from the BIMAA.

Colonel Ortega said she hears from her BIMAA about once a week on new procedures or readiness notifications. She also contacts them concerning any problems she encounters.

"Sometimes in the IMA world you don't have a unit to go to; you are the unit. The BIMAA is a helpful liaison between the active duty and the Reserve world. If you have a good BIMAA, it's like gold. It really is important," she said.