By MCC Elizabeth Thompson

The Chief of Navy Reserve spoke with Sailors about issues facing the reserves and recognized personnel for their accomplishments during a Feb. 20-22 visit to Jacksonville.

During her visit, Vice Adm. Robin Braun met with commanding officers from Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Jacksonville, held an all-hands call and visited different commands to learn about the needs of locally drilling Sailors.

She met with Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, and with Reserve Sailors supporting the command on NS Mayport. She also spoke at the change of command ceremony for HSL-60.

Ways to improve training, unit and overall reserve force manning, and mission capabilities were top areas of discussion throughout the visit.  

More than 150 Sailors attended the all-hands call at NAS Jacksonville to hear about the latest developments in the Navy Reserves, to exchange information on challenges Sailors face in maintaining unit readiness, and to discuss possible ways to improve training and procedures.

"I always get great information when I come out to the NOSCs or the regions, from Sailors who are working with the fleet and have challenges, and I want to hear what sort of things you recommend we do," Braun told participants. 

In a meeting with commanding officers, Braun received reports on how units support the active component in NOSC Jacksonville's area of responsibility and on how reserve billets are manned.

Two commands highlighted at the meeting were Littoral Combat Ship Seaframe and Littoral Combat Ship Mine Countermeasure Mission Module Mayport, which provided pre-commissioning availability support aboard USS Coronado (LCS 4) from Jan. 31 to Feb. 12. Over that time period, 37 reservists assisted their active duty counterparts with Anti-Terrorism Force Protection watch standing, completion of 602 Planned Maintenance System checks in five work centers, and 145 equipment validations.

Braun praised the work aboard the Coronado and stressed the importance of supporting the LCS community as the Navy continues to consider Navy Station Mayport as the future homeport for about 1,000 Sailors and 14 new LCS ships estimated to join the fleet by 2020.  

"The work you are doing is proof that this program is the right way to go," said Braun. "I commend you on the excellent work you are doing."

While at NAS Jacksonville, Braun toured spaces at Information Dominance Corps Region Southeast. During a pinning ceremony at the command, she recognized two reservists for their completion of the Enlisted Information Domination Warfare Specialist Program.

Braun also traveled to Blount Island on the St. Johns River, where she toured spaces of the Fourth Navy Expeditionary Logistics Regiment (4th NELR) recognized three Sailors for their completion of the Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist Program, participated in advanced cargo simulator training.

NELR serves as the headquarters element for two Navy cargo handling battalions and one expeditionary communications detachment comprised of about 660 full-time and selected reservists from 10 bases throughout Navy Region Southeast.  

YN1(EXW/AW) Keith Henley, one of the Sailors pinned Feb. 22, said he appreciated the time Braun took to interact with reservists and see some of the training 4th NELR does onsite.

"To have Vice Adm. Braun take time out of her schedule to visit a smaller command and have the cargo handlers get some one-on-one time with her is always good," Henley said.  

NOSC Jacksonville provides support to approximately 2,000 Sailors in 66 units at seven locations, including NAS Jacksonville; Naval Station Mayport; Blount Island; Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay; Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy; Stuttgart Army Airfield, Germany; and Royal Air Force Molesworth, England.