Virtual Reserve unit training assembly a win for SMC

  • Published
  • By Capt. Bari D. Wald
  • Space and Missile Systems Center

More than 70 Individual Mobilized Augmentee Reservists assigned to the Space and Missile Systems Center came together virtually Feb. 27-28, 2021, for a Reserve Unit Training Assembly weekend.

“Unlike Traditional Reservists who rally together one weekend out of each month, IMAs are individually embedded into Active Duty units and support their unit on varying schedules.  It is rare that IMAs ever get together into one location,” said Colonel John D. Cherry, Space and Missile Systems Center mobilization assistant to the commander.

“Our Reserve IMAs are working two jobs…a corporate or civilian job, and their Reserve job,” Cherry explained. “They choose to use their personal time to go above and beyond to serve their country and stay ready to mobilize.  This sacrifice often goes unnoticed and people only see a Reservist as part-time. In reality, reserve participation is overtime and our members have no issues putting in the work -- that is dedication.”

This year’s RUTA saw a large increase in participation, an upside to an otherwise virtually-fatigued world.

“We saw a 110% increase in participation in the event, which means we reached a much broader audience,” said Cherry.  “Since our IMAs are spread around 25 different states in the U.S., and some overseas, the virtual event eliminated travel from the equation, reducing time and money spent.  Technical advancements made this event possible and overall, it was a huge success.”

Besides the usual topics covered at the annual RUTA, such as mobilization readiness requirements, medical and education benefits, promotion processes, and updates to policy, SMC senior leaders took time to speak with and personally recognize the impact IMAs have on the SMC mission.

According to Cherry, last year’s SMC Reservists worked over 7,500 days of support delivering Space capabilities to the warfighter with this year being no different. 

“Our Reservists are leading the charge on many key strategic SMC initiatives,” said Cherry.

Some of the programs IMAs lead or support include SMC’s COVID-19 Response and Planning Team, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile testing, Global Positioning Satellite launches, Launch & Early On-Orbit campaigns for SBIRS GEO-5 & 6, Fighting SATCOM prototypes, and planning SMC’s strategy and implementation of a Digital Engineering Ecosystem to transform the USSF into a digital service.

“Our team brings innovation from industry experience, and provides a surge capacity to help SMC meet the growing demand for Space capabilities,” said Cherry.  “These events make us more effective as Reservists, and ultimately that translates into more seamless mission support for SMC…total force integration.”