MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- The Air Force Reserve was formed in 1948 under the leadership of President Harry S. Truman to serve in times of war. In the 70 years since then, the Reserve has developed into a Major Command (MAJCOM) and currently perform about 20% of the work of the Air Force.
One role of the Citizen Airmen is filling active-duty manning slots. The Individual Mobilization Augmentee Reserve program supplements active-duty units by assigning them to train and operate. IMAs who have experience with the unit can step in and provide assistance at a moment’s notice.
Air Force Reservists serve in more than 200 career fields, but until this year were unable to work as nuclear and missile operations officers.
“As of Oct. 26, 2019, Citizen Airmen missileers can continue to be fully combat mission ready and support nuclear deterrence operations just like their active-duty counterparts,” said Brig. Gen. Erich Novak, mobilization assistant to the commander of 20th Air Force, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming.
This historic event cemented the expansion of the Total Force Integration across all three Air Force Global Strike Command intercontinental ballistic missile bases.
On Dec. 11, Capt. Spencer Huyck, 10th Missile Squadron mission combat crew commander, became the first Reserve Airman to pull alert for Malmstrom AFB.
“I am extremely thankful to be given this opportunity and for all of the support from the reserves and active units that we have been working with,” said Huyck. “I’m excited to see the positive impact we will have and I am glad to continue to serve as a 13N reservist.”
Huyck served 4 years on active duty with the 10th MS and transitioned into the Air Force Reserve in September.
“[I] did my first crew tour here at Malmstrom with the 10th MS,” he said. “I did 232 alerts and have about 7,000 hours of field experience.”
Those years of experience won’t go to waste with the implementation of IMAs in the 13N career field.
“Incorporating our reserve component into the alert duties of our Missile Combat Crew force creates an entirely new dimension to our warfighter,” said Maj. Christopher Boney, 341st Operations Group standards and evaluations chief. “We are now in a position to leverage the talents of our missileers while not restricting them to the traditional construct and demands of active-duty life.
“We also retain more knowledge and experience within the nuclear community as these members continue to grow and foster new and different pathways within the nuclear arena,” Boney continued. “These are exciting times and I’m honored to have Capt. Huyck as a member of the prestigious 341st OG, representing the first alert-pulling IMA reservist at Wing 1.”
As a civilian, Huyck is pursuing his master’s degree in nursing and, as a Reservist, serves four-five days a month training and pulling alert.
“Reservists will be able to provide the ICBM community with more flexibility and capability to accomplish the mission and provide more time for professional development opportunities for active-duty members,” he said. “This will be critical as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent begins to come online and we transition to the new system.”
The 13N career field has expanded from eight to almost 40 Reserve Citizen Airmen, and will continue to grow.
“This is a great time for reservists to be entering the 13N career field,” concluded Huyck.