From the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 to the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003, the Coast Guard mobilized 70% of its selected Reserve, a higher percentage over the same period than any other reserve component. This period of mobilization, though successful, was not without complications. The training of Reserve boat crews for their expected contingency roles requires improvement.
Mobilisations since 9/11 have featured the Coast Guard Reserve providing a surge capacity for military outload and homeland security operations. However, the majority of Reserve members assigned to boat forces units have focused their training on search and rescue (SAR) and traditional maritime law enforcement. While SAR is the cultural backbone of the Coast Guard's ethos, the reality is that the Reserve must prioritize its training efforts and focus on homeland security operations.
Mobilization vs. Augmentation