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DoD News Briefing on Reserve Mobilization

Presenters: Craig W. Duehring, PDASD Reserve Affairs
September 15, 2001 2:30 PM EDT

Friday, September 14, 2001 - 2:30 p.m.

(Also participating; Lt. Gen. Russell C. Davis, chief, National Guard Bureau; Vice Adm. John B. Totushek, chief, Naval Reserve; Lt. Gen. Roger C. Schultz, director, Army National Guard; Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver Jr., director, Air National Guard; Maj. Gen. Arnold L. Punaro, assistant deputy chief of staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs; Rear Adm. Dennis Sirois, director of Reserve and Training, Coast Guard Reserve.)

Quigley: As I think many of you know, the president authorized a Reserve call-up this morning, about 10:30 or 11:00, I believe, this morning. And here to describe for you the details of what that means and the mechanics of the process that will follow is the principal deputy assistant secretary for Reserve Affairs, Mr. Craig Duehring. And as you see, he's got the heads of the Reserve components of each of the services, if there is a particular service- specific question.

We also have copies of the executive order that the president signed earlier this morning, available at the news desk after the brief.

Mr. Duehring?

Q: Could you spell Duehring for --

Duehring: Okay, I will.

(Off-mike comments.)

Thank you, Admiral Quigley.

Duehring is D, like David, -U-E-H-R-I-N-G. First name is Craig, with a C.

I have some prepared comments that I'll read first, and then I'll take the questions that you might have after that.

As you know, the president has authorized the partial mobilization of the National Guard and Reserve forces of the United States. It affects the ready Reserve. There are three elements of the ready Reserve, including the selected Reserve, the individual ready Reserve, and the inactive National Guard.

The partial mobilization gives the president access to soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and Coast Guardsmen for a period of up to two years.

At this time we expect to mobilize up to 35,000 members to perform homeland defense and civil support missions. This is our current estimate of the numbers needed to provide support for the homeland defense and civil support missions.

The kinds of units that might be called up include air defense, airlift, intelligence support, military police, medical, logistics, engineers, search and rescue, civil affairs, chaplains and so forth. The last partial mobilization order occurred on January 18th, 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, when 265,322 National Guard and Reserve members were mobilized.

Let me emphasize that this is an authorization. The process of actually selecting units to mobilize is only beginning. The bottom line is that we are calling up the fewest National Guard and Reserve members needed to perform homeland defense and civil support missions for the shortest possible duration.

Now I'll be happy to take any questions. Yes, sir?

Q: Mr. Secretary, when do you expect that the first order will come? And why is the Air Force designated -- has the Air Force been designated to call up more than others?

Duehring: Well, what the process is, there's actually two parts to the -- there's two ways that they can be called up. First is for the homeland defense missions. The affected CINC -- that's the commander in chief -- is responsible for establishing the requirement, and he in turn gives that requirement to the services, and then they fill it by going out and actually identifying the units or the individuals that they think are best suited to fill those needs.

Now, if it's for a mission involving support to civil authorities, the lead federal agency will define the requirement to DoD through the executive secretariat and the director of military support. And I think you had a briefing yesterday from Brigadier General Vaughn about that process.

So we have to go through that process yet to determine what it is that we need in both cases. The services themselves will identify the units that would be recalled. Now, as for the Air Force, I'd probably have to defer to them to find out why their numbers might be larger than the others. It might have something to do with the air superiority mission, but it would strictly be a guess on my part.

Q: But we've already been told by senior defense officials -- in fact, by Torie Clarke -- that the initial ones are expected to be within days. Is that not true?

Duehring: It's entirely possible. It depends on, you know, how long it will take for them to send their requests in. And obviously some thought has gone into this before now. So I'm sure that some are more prepared than others.

Yes, sir.

Q: Sir, is this largely the homeland defense missions with the civil support being a smaller portion of this? And what are the homeland defense missions specifically.

Duehring: Well, the civil support of course would be -- let me start with that first -- would be the type of mission that you would see, you know, working with communities, you know, working, you know, the clean-up, the MP type actions, the chaplains, the mortuary affairs, whereas the homeland defense missions would be the more military -- traditional military-oriented activities. And again, we'll just have to wait and see what the services ask for. I imagine they're putting their concept of operations together now.

Q: In other words -- in other words which is the larger portion of --

Duehring: I do not know which is larger, quite frankly. I just -- I haven't looked at that.

Q: And when you say more military-type, can you be -- do you mean --

Duehring: The traditional --

Q: -- sort of homeland --

Duehring: -- the traditional, you know, from the definition of, you know, homeland defense.

Q: You mean fighter pilots, things like that?

Duehring: Certainly most of the air superiority mission if not all of the air superiority mission now is in the Air National Guard, for example.

Q: Has the secretary -- has the secretary signed the order for the 26 air bases to enhance air superiority mission at the 26 air bases?

Duehring: I honestly don't know.

Q: Did the president authorize that, or does he need to do it? Can the secretary do that without authorization?

Duehring: I honestly don't know the answer to that, and we might be getting into operational issues here, and I'm just going to steer clear of that today.

Q: If you're still sorting out the missions that need to be performed, how did you arrive at the 35,000 figure?

Duehring: These are the estimates that the services gave us, you know, based on their best planning at this point, and we think it's a pretty accurate number for the need now.

Q: So can you exceed that, or would that be the figure?

Duehring: Well, what's -- of course, under the authorization, they can go significantly over that, but right now, the guidance is that if we were to exceed it by more than -- if we were to exceed the cap of 50,000, the secretary of Defense will coordinate with the president, with the White House before we actually exceed that limit. So that the point I'm making here is that the White House and the Department of Defense are working very closely together on this. This is a well-thought-out plan, and they're working in concert with each other and certainly have a handle on what is happening.

Yes, sir.

Q: Do you have an estimated breakout by service?

Duehring: I believe that the press release that just came out a little while ago does have that. The Army is estimating 10,000; the Air Force, 13,000; Navy, 3,000; the Marines, 7,500; and the Coast Guard is right now at 2,000.

Q: Mr. Secretary, do you expect that the president will later -- he is authorized under law to authorize you-all to call-up up to one million members of the Reserve. Do you expect later, in addition to this homeland defense, that the president will in fact authorize you to call up -- or, in fact, will ask for more people to fight the war on terrorism?

Duehring: We'll you're correct in saying that he is authorized to call up to 1 million people, but right now our best estimate is that 35,000 people is what we need to do --

Q: For homeland defense. What about --

Duehring: That's what we're calling them for now.

Q: What about helping the 1.4 million-member military fight this war on terrorism? If you launch attacks --

Duehring: Well, I think it's just a little too early. I can't give you any concrete information on that.

Q: Do you think the folks in uniform can help us with some definition of pilots and airplanes and stuff like that from --

Duehring: Perhaps after the briefing --

Davis: I don't think we really know at this point. We've been doing much of the missions, we've been using volunteers, and we'll continue to use volunteers as much as we can so that we don't call-up any more people than we have to. When you call people up, you disrupt their families, their jobs, and that kind of thing. And if it's necessary, we certainly will do that, and that's the purpose of having this partial mobilization so that any of the services, if we require their services, we can get them on demand.

But we've been performing much of this under volunteerism and we'll continue to do that as much as we can.

Q: How many volunteers have walked through the door in the last --

Davis: Let me get Paul Weaver over here for the Air Guard. That way we can get -- we've been doing a number of tanker missions and a number of fighter missions all over the country. And Major General Weaver is director of the Air National Guard. He has responsibility for the Air National Guard activities.


Weaver: We presently have over 4,500 Air Guard men and women performing not only duties here, but also in the Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) as well, with our active duty counterparts. The exact numbers that we have flying locally, both in the tanker business and the fighter business, is really an operational number that I'd just as soon right now at this time --

Q: Are you saying those 4,500 are volunteers?

Weaver: They're all volunteers, yes. We are performing all of our work under volunteerism at this time.

Q: General, could you say, out of the 13,000, how many will be pilots?

Weaver: I couldn't tell you that.

Q: I mean, half or only a few or --

Weaver: Well, we have approximately 4,800 pilots in the Air National Guard alone, but that takes across the board all weapon systems that we have in the Air National Guard. So it all depends upon what we plan on doing in the future.

Q: Last night on Larry King, the secretary said that at 26 bases around the country aircraft are at 15 minutes' strip alert, I think, is what he called it.

Weaver: That's correct.

Q: Hair-trigger alert, obviously. Is it fair to assume that many of these 13,000 will be used as logisticians, and your communications people could keep up --

Weaver: That's correct.

Q: That stands?

Weaver: Absolutely. Good question.

Q: Will the 13,000 be new people, or will the 4,500 volunteers be counted in that total?

Weaver: A combination of both. I mean, we still have worldwide requirements that we're participating in the AEF. But many of the ones that we'll be utilizing within the CONUS at this time will be new and separate from that number.

Q: So the difference between the volunteers and a Selective Service call-up is, the volunteers -- folks are just walking through the door and saying, "I'll do this for however long," but the call-up is a requirement for them to come to duty.

Weaver: That's correct. But we'll -- what we'll try to maintain is volunteerism up to the point that we cannot withstand the requirements under volunteerism. That means we've run dry. And then we'll proceed and --

Q: Have all those volunteers walked in the door since Tuesday?

Weaver: Absolutely.

Q: General, you're already beefing up your NORAD radar force. Are the Canadians participating in this in any way --

Weaver: Yes, they are.

Q: -- helping watch for any approaching airliners or --

Weaver: Yes, they are.

Q: How about their fighter jet forces, the F-18s?

Weaver: I couldn't comment on that.

Q: But they are participating in the --

Weaver: Yes, they are.

Q: -- in the additional NORAD watch?

Weaver: That's correct.

Q: Just to clarify, all the volunteers you mentioned, the 4,600, have come in since Tuesday, they've gone to work since Tuesday?

Weaver: No, these have all been volunteers. I'm sorry if I --

Q: (Off mike.)

Weaver: I'm sorry.

Q: Well, could you tell us how many people have volunteered that you haven't been able to even put to work yet? I mean, we hear about the people lining up in recruiting stations to volunteer for active duty. How about the Reserves?

Weaver: Well, we -- again, they're lined up and asking to come in -- we have to have the requirement first to be able to put them to work. And what we have thus far -- we've been able to meet all of our requirements, through volunteerism, of all of our people. That number I -- I couldn't give you the exact number on that at this time.

Q: General, would you --

Weaver: That includes all the weapons systems that we've been required to have.

Q: Would you envision using C-17s almost in an air bridge concept, from around the country, to move supplies into New York as needed?

Weaver: We have been doing that as well.

Q: Could we ask the same kind of --

(Cross talk.)

Q: Let's see. Navy, Air Force --

Duehring: Admiral Totushek from the Naval Reserve.

Totushek: I'll spell that for you. John Totushek. T-O-T-U-S-H-E-K. I'm Naval Reserve chief.

Q: And what are you looking for, in particular, in terms of specialties?

Totushek: We're pretty much going to be doing support role. That's why our numbers are fairly small. We've been having a dialogue with Navy. We don't expect any kind of numbers that are going exceed what people would volunteer for.

To answer the question about volunteerism, we've had people that retired volunteer to come back. We've had a tremendous number show up at our recruiting stations as well. So we are getting a tremendous response from around the country.

Q: Recruiting stations, like first time, "I want to join" for the first time?

Totushek: Coming to the Reserves for the first time, yes. Or they may have been veterans that are coming back.

Q: When you say support, are you talking about Seabees units, logisticians -

Totushek: Those kinds of things, yes. Medical, Seabees, chaplains.

Q: Any port security units?

Totushek: We will be doing that as well, I'm sure, in conjunction with the Coast Guard.

QHow about the Army?

MAJ. GEN. ROGER SCHULTZ (director, Army National Guard): Roger Schultz, S-C-H-U-L-T-Z. I'm the director of the Army National Guard.

Today we have 5,012 soldiers on duty in nine states.

Q: Say it again?

GEN. SCHULTZ: Five thousand twelve. They're in a volunteer status, but we do place them on orders, of course, for the military status. And as I talk with you about those soldiers across the Guard that are serving our communities today, I just need to explain a couple things. One is, we respond across the country to emergencies. We support local agencies. They have the lead. And it's very important. So in New York today we'll have members, Army and Air Guard alike, but members in New York City that are in a purely state status, then we have some in a federal status; but we're all supporting the governor and the local emergency responders there for recovery.

Q: Of the 5,000, how many are connected to Tuesday's events, and how many were volunteers before --

GEN. SCHULTZ: We have 4,600 in New York alone primarily working these missions -- in security, transportation; obviously, security includes the military police. So support of local law enforcement agencies would be part of our task list. And then we're responding, of course, with medical coverage, medical assistance on the scene at the recovery site, and we have engineers, as well, on the scene.

So when we talk about what's going to happen with the Guard, there may be a point where a certain kind of unit, a certain kind of capability would not be available in the Guard, and that's when we need to reach outside of the state control or the governor's control in New York, for example, and tap federal resources. And so this new call-up authority gives us kind of a streamlined process for certain unit kinds of functions, and so that's one of the features.

Q: QBut no immediate need for that?

GEN. SCHULTZ: Not at this point. When we send federal resources into New York City, it's when the mayor or the governor says, we need you. That's how the process works.

Q: Can you give us a little insight into the grim but necessary mortuary services you're going to be providing?

GEN. SCHULTZ: Yes. Number one, you understand the difficulty of that task. And it's highly emotional. And we don't prepare all of our members for that kind of duty in their normal functions. And so this particular duty requires special orientation assistance recovery when they come off the job site, so there's a critical incident stress kind of resource that we have to have available for them, including all the local volunteer responders as well, so this is not unique to the Guard.

Q: Mr. Secretary, can I ask you, if air traffic controllers are called up, for example, they would be called up to handle military traffic to thwart any threat, and not to handle civilian air traffic. Is that not right? I mean, is that the whole idea?

Duehring: Well, you're reaching back into my experience in the Air Force, which is probably 10 years old, but as I recall, the FAA here handles all air traffic control for both civil and military, unless you get into special-use air space. I don't see any changes in the current system.

Q: How about MPs? If MPs are called up, would they do civilian police work, or would it be like to protect bases which are on a high state of alert around the country?

Duehring: The answer is they would do both. So, beyond the missions that we're currently performing, we're thinking about other developments in this particular mission, so we're anticipating what you're talking about. And that will vary by particular site and the nature of the site that we might secure.

Q: General, what intelligence augmentation will the Army be providing? I think you mentioned this -- along the task of intelligence augmentation.

GEN. SCHULTZ: We have intelligence units, but in terms of what specific units, I wouldn't have an answer to that right now.

Q: Sir, how would you -- what kind of information would you provide and help feed into the FBI, or --

GEN. SCHULTZ: We have individuals in our units that have intelligence-related skills. The primary lead for intelligence work, of course, will come through local law enforcement, Department of Justice, and FBI, primarily.

Q General, can you tell us about what the 10,000 to be called up are needed for?

GEN. SCHULTZ: Yes. It could be an extension of the duties we're already performing, for example, in New York City. That's where the most significant effort is.

Q: Mr. Secretary, --

GEN. SCHULTZ: We could be asked to provide security to other sites, other than just the nine states that we're currently operating from.

Q: Mr. Secretary, would it be your plan to call up personnel for shorter than the two-year period, or to rotate men through to reduce the impact on their civilian jobs? Or do you expect that those that actually have to activate you're going to bring them in for the duration?

Duehring: Well, of course we're still in the planning stages. We're still trying to identify exactly what the requirements are, but we're extremely sensitive to the employers who make up a very big part of our family, of the Guard and Reserve family. These are the people that sign our paychecks that allow our families to eat. So we realize that they are making a great sacrifice when they allow these people to come on active duty. So what we will do is certainly take that into consideration.

You know, we have a program here within the Reserve Affairs organization called the employer support for the Guard and Reserve. It consists in this headquarters of about two dozen people who are constantly working just to resolve problems that might come up in the working place for events like this or for normal rotational duties, normal training. We also are very proactive in many ways trying to inform employers about who we are and what we do, because, you know, the Guard and the Reserve -- now think about it, these are people who's heritage goes all the way back to Bunker Hill. These are -- when you think of these folks, you think of the tall, straight fellow with the three-pointed hat and the musket in his hands, you know, with his family behind him going off to serve his country, and that's exactly the same concept that we use today. But these people have jobs. They are part of their community. They're a living, breathing part of their community. And so we take whatever actions that we can to try to smooth that transition, and this involves actively working with the employers.

We have 4,500 members of this organization, the -- we call it technically the National Committee for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve -- who are spread out across the United States and work in a volunteer status to try to resolve these problems. If they can't, they can call us at a 1-800 number, and we will try to get an expert there to help them out. And I think that since we've started this program, that our difficulties have gone down, because usually it's a misunderstanding. And we're able to resolve these problems. And we are very confident we'll be able to do that again.

Q: Can you give us a clearer sense of what has happened since Tuesday in terms of people coming in from all over the country to all the different Reserve and National Guard units?

Duehring: Well, I can -- I know that there are a number of Guard and Reserve, especially National Guard personnel who have been recalled by their states in New York and certainly in Virginia around here under Title 32.

So they're already out there working.

In addition, we have had people who are knocking on the doors, seeking to help. They want to serve. They want to be a part of this. They're very emotional. We've had to say, "Wait a little bit. You know, it's -- we've only had a matter of hours since this all began." We are proceeding along our way, and now we have the authorization to bring those people on board.

In addition, we've had quite a number of calls over at the -- we call it ESGR -- office from companies who have said, "How can we help?" And I'll cite some. The Colorado Springs Utilities, Advance Auto Parts, which is a national chain, and Georgia Pacific have specifically called in and said, "What can we do in anticipation of our people leaving and going to federal service? How can we make that transition easier? How can we make life a lot more easy for their families?"

And so the movement is very broad and very deep, and it's started, and now we are at the point where we have been authorized to actually bring some of these people on board. We're mentally prepared to do so.

Q: Can we bring General Punaro on to talk about the Marine contribution?

Q: Yeah.

Duehring: We can. Did you want get one more question, follow up?

Q: Yeah. I just want to get straight on this volunteer thing. I think we're a bit confused. It seems to be that we have about 5,000 volunteers in New York and -- 5,000 volunteers from the Army Guard and 4,600 from the Air Guard. And what percentage of these have been since Tuesday? Under normal circumstances, are there National Guard volunteers that are doing things at various parts around the country? How much is this related to Tuesday?

Duehring: Well, the ones in New York are obviously responding to this particular incident as it occurred. And they will initially be called up by the governor. And he alerted the entire National Guard, over 20,000 Army and Air Guardsmen, and put them on alert. And he's only calling as many of them as he needs to perform duties.

Now that's in what we call state active duty. General Schultz talked to that. That's paid for by the state, and they're under the state authority, and they do the missions as required and delegated down by the state.

Q: So you don't have a separate breakout of how many of those were called by the governor and how many volunteered on their own, or are those --

Duehring: That entire 5,000 were called by the governor, both Army Guard and Air Guard, in that particular instance.

Q: Okay. You're calling them volunteers -- all those you have called up, the -

GEN. DAVIS: They're calling up folks.

They may or may not be volunteers in the state status. I don't want to get it too confusing for you here.

Q: Is it a true statement for us to go back and add these numbers together and say about 10,000 Guardspeople have been activated either by the state or have volunteered their services?

GEN. DAVIS: I think that's accurate. I'd be comfortable with that.

Q: And the 5,000 number -- does that mean that that --

GEN. DAVIS: It's less than that, I think, probably --

Q: Right.

GEN. DAVIS: -- but fairly close, yes.

Q: But the 35,000 we're talking about to be activated will be over and above these, right? These --

GEN. DAVIS: They may be some of the same people, and they may not be. We were just talking about that a little bit early (sic). These are people who are volunteers. They -- the 35,000 is involuntary.

Q: Well! (Laughter.)

GEN. DAVIS: Okay? When we --

Q: So if you had 35,000 volunteers, you wouldn't need to do an involuntary --

GEN. DAVIS: If they could stay for that amount of time, Mr. McWethy. The problem is, we can't always determine that.

People volunteer and they can stay for two weeks, and then they go back home, go back to their jobs. If we need them to stay four to five weeks, that's why we have the partial-MOB. And if it is a hard requirement, and don't have anybody to replace them, then we need that individual, we will call that individual. And that's why Mr. Duehring was saying, we will only call people -- as many people for as long as we need them.

MR. DUEHRING: Let me just give you a little different scenario, there. You know, this is only -- this happened just a couple of days ago, that all this started. And if you work with the number that we have now come to, which is 35,000, those people didn't wait. The governors didn't wait for us to determine that we would need, for this entire crisis, 35,000 people. So these -- some of them were called in already. And I've heard stories this morning in the press that there are people out there digging in the dirt now that have been working continuously since Tuesday. So, think in terms of relief, too. We have people that'll be working 12-hour shifts, and we're just now catching up to that. So perhaps when some of these people go back and get their rest, they'll be back in a slightly different status.

Q: Mr. Secretary, can we hear from General Punaro about what the Marines need?

Duehring: Okay.

MAJOR GENERAL ARNOLD PUNARO (director, Marine Corps Reserve): I'm Major General Arnold Punaro, P-U-N-A-R-O, and I'm the director of the Marine Corps Reserve.

Our anticipated contribution is really in two categories. One, individuals, and let's call them Individual Mobilization Augmentees. And these are people that have a job in one of our Marine organizations or in a joint organization or here at OSD. And they train for that in peacetime, and then in a contingency, come on full- time active duty. I happen to be just one such individual. I'm a Reservist. I'm an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA), and now I'm coming on active duty full-time in my job that I do in peacetime as director of the Marine Corps Reserve.

We have IMAs that will be augmenting our operational staffs. As you well know, the Pentagon and the people in the field are working around the clock. And therefore, just like all the other services, their IMAs are coming on board and they do these jobs in peace time -- this is what they do as their normal Reserve job; now they will be coming on and doing it full-time. Many of them have already shown up. They didn't wait for the call-up; they're volunteering, and they've shown up.

And we will get the requirements from the field for how many more people they need in the individual category. We're looking for special skills in certain areas -- force protection, counterterrorism, experts in the civilian world that will come on as Reservists and serve in various organizations. So we have the individual category, and then we have the unit category.

In the unit category -- most of them that we anticipate filling the requirements of the commanders are the similar ones that the secretary has mentioned -- riflemen, infantry type personnel, military police, engineers, heavy equipment operators, communications experts.

We have a large communication -- Reserve communication battalion in the Northeast, 6th Com Battalion, and we would be ready if requested and required for those personnel to provide additional communications. We were supporting the Air Reserve and the Air Guard with some of our fighters out of the Reserves and some of the CAPs that were flying around the country and here in the Washington area in recent days.

So that's kind of the range, the civil affairs unit, that's kind of the range of what we expect, but as the secretary said at the outset, we all on the Reserve side respond to the requirements as established by the active-duty war-fighters in the higher commands, and they will be looking at what they think they need to do, and they will be coming to each of the services and saying, "Who can you provide to fill that role?" And then the service will look and see what have we got available on the active side, and then they say will say, okay, maybe we better fill that from the Reserve.

And I think one thing that we ought to be mindful of is you're looking at, as the secretary of Defense and others have said, a long- term situation, and so you need people on the individual and unit nature to be able to sustain something over a longer period of time.

QMr. Duehring, I think it's sort of inevitable that the American people are going to view what we're talking about here today as the first step of the military response to what happened on Tuesday. Is that a fair way to look at this? And -- is that a fair way to look at this?

Duehring: Well, you know, the Guard -- the National Guard and the Reserve components are full partners in the total force. And this has been our concept now for at least 10 years, if not before that. And our people are fully trained across the full spectrum of military operations. And quite frankly, you can't really conduct a sustained military operation without the active involvement of the National Guard and the Reserves. It's just as simple as that. So any time you have any kind of a movement on a large scale, they have to be involved. And in many cases, they are already involved; you just don't see it because it's not obvious to you. So this is a natural step that we had to take at this point.

Q: Who is the CINC that will determine the needs? Is that USACOM?

Duehring: Well, actually, there's a number of them that get involved in this. And I'll give you a scenario here. If you're talking about air defense, NORAD comes under U.S. Space Command. However, the aircraft and the crews are owned by Air Combat Command.

And, you know, as we move the responsibilities around, there are other people who will play in this as well.

Q: So the USACOM, the Norad. Who else -- what other CINCs?

Duehring: I don't know if I could give you -- I'd have to give you the

Q: (Off mike.)

Q: But the bottom line is you have all these volunteers out there; you have a 35,000 pool. So you don't know when or how many of those you're going to have to call because you have all these volunteers; isn't that right?

Duehring: No. Our volunteers at this point are significantly fewer than that. But what we're saying is we anticipate for our needs here, for the homeland defense and civil support missions, that we will need 35,000.

Q: But particular units, and so forth, when will that be determined?

Duehring: Just as quickly as possible.

Q: So next week, or --

Duehring: I honestly don't have the answer to that. I'm not trying to evade it; I just don't know.

Q: Could any of the chiefs here address that question and clarify for me the chain of command for those units that are being called for military missions, that is not supporting the civil missions, which require civilian oversight and civilian approval, but the -- I assume for Norad, and the like, that there is a military chain of command that could move more quickly and thus get some of these units identified and called up more quickly.

GEN. WEAVER (?): It might be helpful to think about the numbers that are in this authority as rough numbers. And that gives all the CINCs around the world the ability to now go into specifics about what units they think they're going to need to augment their particular area of responsibility. We expect that areas other than -- as tensions heighten, for instance, in the Middle East, that CENTCOM may be interested in some augmentation. We're already getting some rumblings about that. But at this phase, it's just preliminary dialogue about what have you got available. And so we're talking back and forth.

But the chain of command will come from the CINC to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then to the appropriate service, who will contact the Reserve component, and go back up, and will then respond to that combatant CINC. So it could be -- depending upon what part of the world that we're talking about, it could be any number of CINCs.

Yes, sir?

Q: Could you clarify for me what protections that a person who's called to duty has in terms of whether his or her civilian job will be there for them when their time is up. And do they have more protection if they're called versus coming in and volunteering?

Duehring: The answer is yes, there is a federal statute, called USSERA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994"), that guarantees a person's job for up to five years under these conditions -- in fact, under any kind of conditions where a person is called to military duty.

Q: How about the person who comes and volunteers? Does he or she also have that protection?

Duehring: If they are under orders, they have the same protection, although there are some slight differences.

Q: Admiral, do you expect any of your air units, either mobility or fighter units, to be called?

Totushek: We don't think we'll probably be calling whole units for that. We have been partaking -- like the Marine Corps, we've been standing some of the CAP duty around the country. It's been kind of interesting. In one particular case, as a matter fact, we borrowed missiles from the National Guard and stood CAP with our F- 18s.

So we will do those, I think, on an as-needed basis. But we don't expect those units to be recalled.

You may know our inter-theater lift airplanes operate around the world. If you see a Navy airplane that's a lift airplane, it's a Reserve airplane. We do that every day of the week anyway. We will continue that kind of support.

Q: Admiral, regarding the --

Q: Are your new airlifters -- are the first of them operational yet?

Totushek: Yes, we've got three of them flying now.

Q: Regarding the CAP duty, the question arises, what are you protecting against? If another airliner is hijacked and is headed toward the Capitol or the Washington Monument, do your people have authority on orders to shoot it down, rather than destroy the White House? What does this CAP duty entail?

Totushek: Right. I couldn't address that under this classification. But we are standing CAP just like any other CAP, under the circumstances that we have --

Q: Protecting against what?

Totushek: Whatever we are directed to protect against. I mean, it may not be that it's going to be an other airliner. It might be something else.

Q: Mr. Secretary --

Duehring: Could I follow up on that? The gentlemen's been waiting very patiently.

Q: I just wanted to get a quick question to the secretary. If down the road the secretary of Defense decides that he needed more than 50,000, would he have to go back to the president to seek additional authority, a new authority, a renewal of the authority, or --

Duehring: Not under law, but under the terms of an agreement that they have that he will consult with the White House, with the president, before he exceeds the 50,000 cap.

Q: All right. Thank you.

Duehring: I'd like to invite Admiral Sirois to come up and talk for a moment about the Coast Guard Reserve.

Sirois: Good afternoon. Rear Admiral Denny Sirois, S- I-R-O-I-S.

Our small Reserve force is needed for our Coast Guard performance missions, especially under this heightened security we have right now. Primarily, it's in an argumentation role, but we have one specific mission, the port security mission, that most of our capability exists in the Reserve forces right now.

We already have a thousand Reservists called up. The secretary of Transportation has some unique authorities that he can recall the Coast Guard Reserve for domestic emergencies, and he did that on Tuesday evening. So we have about a thousand folks right now augmenting and performing port security, some coastal security, and vessel traffic service missions in our ports.

Q: Mr. Secretary, to sort of follow-up on Charlie's question, when you're talking about -- what exactly are you talking about when you talk about "homeland defense"? I mean, what is the mission? And secondly, are we only concentrating on New York and Washington? Or are we talking about the whole country?

Duehring: Well, I kept a kind of a general answer on it. You know, in the title, homeland defense would cover anything that would be protecting our homeland, and I don't want to get into too great of detail at this type of a briefing. But we did want to differentiate between homeland defense and the civil support missions, which is what we are gearing up for right now.

Did anybody have any other questions for Admiral Sirois, by the --

Q: On Coast Guard call-up, would those be in addition -- would the authority to call up additional Coast Guard people be in addition to the thousand you've already got?

Sirois: Yes.

Q: Okay.

Q: Admiral, when you talk about vessel security, are you talking about protecting U.S. ships and protecting U.S. -- well, U.S. warships or whatever, or are you talking about possibly searching incoming vessels for --

Sirois: All of the above.

Q: -- for perhaps nuclear devices, that kind of thing?

Sirois: All of the above. Cruise ships -- assuring the safety of cruise ships coming and leaving our waters.

Q: Admiral -- (off mike) -- these units were called up for the Gulf after the Cole attack.

Sirois: Correct.

Q: Is this kind of a replicative event of small, small special --

Sirois: Same units, exactly the same units.

Q: The same guys or different?

Sirois: Yes, same guys.

Q: Could you describe what they're doing?

Sirois: They have in each unit approximately six to eight high-speed, armed small boats, and they provide waterside security to port facilities or anchored vessels, approaches to the harbors.

Q: Are they only in New York or are they in Washington as well?

Sirois: I can't tell you where we have them deployed right now.

Q: Admiral, we've seen new security measures at airports, jersey barriers going up, new inspections. Are there new inspections, for example, if a cruise ship pulls up in New York Harbor? Are you doing things now that you wouldn't have been doing before Tuesday to inspect the ship and its passengers?

Sirois: I'll expect there'll be heightened security measures for cruise ships, as well as commercial ships in our ports.

Q: Can you tell us what those measures would be?

Sirois: More of what we're doing now. More detailed crew checks or passenger checks, for instance.

Q: Secretary, I just want to go back to the answer about another call-up. You said that the president would not have to authorize it, that the secretary could do it but would have to consult with the president. Just clarify that for me.

Duehring: Well, under the terms of the partial mobilization -- let me just go through that. It requires a declaration of national emergency.

Q: Has that been done?

Duehring: It has been done. [ Declaration of National Emergency ]

Q: When was that done?

Duehring: Today.

Q: By the president?

Duehring: Yes. Report to Congress every six months on our progress. It involves the ready reserve, which I've already explained. The cap is 1 million people, and the limit is two years. Under a handshake agreement, the secretary of Defense will discuss with the White House the situation if he exceeds 50,000. That's just an in-house arrangement that they have to -- go ahead.

Q: Is there a difference in the type of law enforcement support the National Guard can provide under state status versus federal status?

Duehring: Yes. Under the Title 32, when the governor calls up, they have, you know, police powers. They can arrest. Just consider that as being the basic difference. Under Title 10, under federal law, it's more in the -- you'd have to have a national emergency, which we have, but it's more of a Guard-type activity. And I really can't go any deeper than that because I really -- I just don't have that --

Q: This handshake agreement, is it between Rumsfeld and Bush or does it pre-date them?

Duehring: It's part of this particular operation today.

Q: So they made the agreement themselves.

Duehring: It was done between the Pentagon and the White House.

Q: So what you're saying, in effect, is the president has activated -- has authorized the department to call up up to 1 million under his power, but under an agreement between the secretary -- if it goes over 50,000, the SecDef will go back and ask for more.

Duehring: That's correct.

Q: One more, just following up on the first question. Again, under homeland defense, are we talking about beefing up security across the country or are we talking about specifically New York and Washington?

Duehring: You know, they're going to look at a broad range of options. For one thing, we don't know exactly where the threat is. They're going to discover this as things evolve. They're going to changing their modus operandi. So I'd hate to put any limitations on. The other problem is I don't want to go into any detail on the actual operations themselves. I don't think that's appropriate to this forum.

Let me close with just a couple of comments. The events of this week, you know, have touched each and every one of us deeply and personally. If we didn't know someone directly who was involved in this attack, undoubtedly, you know, we knew someone else who did.

And that's because in the National Guard and the Reserves, we consider ourselves a family. And we are -- we come from the communities, every community across this great country of ours and represent the breadth and depth of the American spirit. Many Americans have asked how they can help, and now some of our citizens will begin to help by trading their work clothes for a uniform as their parents and grandparents did in the past and answer the call to carry out their military duties.

To those of you who are employers of these people, we ask you to help make their transition an easy one as they leave their homes and families to perform their military service.

For those of you who know a member of the National Guard or the Reserve, take time to thank them for the sacrifice that they are making as they join the ranks of the heroes who are even now working so hard in New York City and just outside our building here at the Pentagon.

Finally, keep them and all who serve in the cause of freedom in your daily prayers.

Thank you. And God bless America.


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