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NEWS | June 18, 2024

Army Reserve hosts large scale mobilization operations symposium

By Sgt. Natalie Pantalos U.S. Army Reserve Command

Senior U.S. Army Reserve leaders hosted a Large Scale Mobilization Operations (LSMO) Symposium at the U.S. Army Reserve Command headquarters from June 11-13, 2024. It is the first symposium focused on Reserve mobilizations since World War II.

Attendees represented all facets of the Army enterprise, including Headquarters Department of the Army, representatives from the Army National Guard, U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Medical Command, and First Army. Event organizers said that it was important to assemble all relevant partners to assess how the Reserve can quickly mobilize to support any type of engagement, anywhere in the world. Participants were broken up into diverse work groups to discuss potential scenarios, anticipate challenges, and develop recommendations to prevent or overcome friction points.

U.S. Army Col. Conrad Jakubow, the Army Reserve’s director of current operations, explained that the biggest initial obstacle with LSMO is timing. Generally, Reserve units have over a year’s notice before a deployment, which makes a short- notice mobilization unique.

“Time is not going to be on our side.” Jakubow said. “Our biggest concern is that we are going to fall short and then not be responsive when somebody needs us to be.”

Jakubow thinks that one of the key takeaways from the symposium was re-evaluating what readiness means when it comes to LSMO.

“It's a mobilization responsiveness or readiness to mobilize as opposed to the traditional metrics,.” he said.

Jakubow stressed that having equipment and training standards met are still important, but that the speed you can get Soldiers where they are needed is paramount.

A goal at the unit level is to incorporate more realistic training for modern engagements. Some participants expressed that traditional exercises can feel routine and far removed from situations today’s Soldiers might encounter in combat. Jakubow indicated that training events should be impactful, meaningful, and exciting.

The next step is to implement the ideas and solutions developed at the symposium while maintaining momentum for this important initiative.

“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war,” Jakubow said. “We very much want to bring that back to the forefront in terms of how we do training.”