Title 10: Setting goals, achieving the mission

PHILADELPHIA - Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Cole, a Title 10 reservist at Coast Guard Station Philadelphia, patrols the Delaware River as the 240-gunner July 13, 2011. As a Title 10 reserve at the station Cole advanced to 2nd class and was selected as the Enlisted Reserve Person of the Year at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Crystalynn A. Kneen.A little more than a year ago, eight men were called to relinquish their civilian lives and set out to commence a mission they execute part time; full time.

These eight men took a solicitation from the Coast Guard to be part of Station Philadelphia as Title 10 reservists.

Title 10 is a selected reserve and certain individual ready reserve members; order to active duty other than during war or national emergency.

This order to active duty was to supplement active duty personnel at the station and help support their role in port security, escorts of high interest vessels, military out loads, president, vice president and first lady security operations as well as search and rescue, law enforcement and training, according to Petty Officer 1st Class Alano Demurguiondo, a Title 10 reservist at Coast Guard Station Philadelphia.

While supporting these roles, the station’s active duty crew, during a high personnel turnover, was able to conduct qualifications and training to get them up to speed to complete a number of missions.

“When we were called to active duty, we started with military out loads and Port Waterways Coastal Security missions so the active duty crew could get their boats in good working order and become fully trained and certified in all aspects of the job as a level one unit,” said Chief Petty Officer Robert Mayer, a Title 10 reservist at Coast Guard Station Philadelphia.

A level one unit means Station Philadelphia and its crewmembers operate at the highest PWCS level in response to being located in a tier one port, one of the nation’s top import and export ports for produce, petroleum and the Department of Defense. The ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del., have a large amount of critical infrastructure such as multiple bridges, petroleum plants and a nuclear power plant.

As a level one unit the crews are trained as boat crewmen and coxswains, tactical boat crewmen and tactical coxswain as well as boarding officers and boarding team members.

“We have put forth a significant amount of work and training to get the station to that point,” said Mayer. “We bring years of reserve experience and qualifications that a new recruit from boot camp would not be able to bring to the table. It was good having the support of the active duty command as well. They gave us the reigns to do our missions. It’s a trusted relationship.”

The combined experience and knowledge they have brought to the table has helped the station complete two Ready For Operations drills, seeing the station is properly trained, qualified, certified and outfitted so the personnel assigned to the unit can execute all assigned Coast Guard missions safely and effectively, and one Standardization team visit, to ensure the goals of readiness and standardization, resulting in the station receiving the 2010 Sumner I. Kimball Readiness Award. This award is for the top performing units who demonstrate excellence in crew proficiency, boat and equipment conditions and overall operational readiness.

“We have helped improve overall test scores, underway evaluations and training but have also given us, as reservists, opportunities we would not have been able to accomplish one weekend a month and two weeks a year,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Cole, a Title 10 reservist at Coast Guard Station Philadelphia.

This opportunity for these men have resulted in all of them becoming fully qualified at the station, four advancements and one being selected as the Enlisted Reserve Person of the Year for Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia.

“Qualifications come easier while on Title 10,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jim O’Malley, a Title 10 reservist at Coast Guard Station Philadelphia. “It was a good opportunity for us to quickly get qualifications, gain experience and bridge the gap between the reserve and active duty members.”

Also during their time at the station, these guys have logged approximately 130 escorts of high interest vessels, 247 patrols of the Delaware River and critical infrastructure, as well as special operations, resulting in approximately 5,451 underway hours. These statistics are high because the minimum requirement for underway hours is 40 hours per six month cycle, 10 of them being at night.

Some of these special operations consisted of being first responders to the 2010 Philadelphia duck boat accident, security zone operations at the Philadelphia Red Bull Flugtag, the Dave Matthews Band Caravan concert and Fourth of July fireworks. They escorted the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle while in port in Philadelphia, performed multi-agency security operations, military out loads, battleship New Jersey community service, Operation Dry Water and Operation Patriot Guard.

“This has been challenging,” said Chief Petty Officer Ian Bucs, a Title 10 reservist at Coast Guard Station Philadelphia. “We have definitely worked hard over these last 18 months. The whole station has worked hard.”

In additions to the mission and training, these reservists have become a part of the crew as a whole.

“We have gotten to know a great bunch of guys,” said Demurguiondo. “I am disappointed the job is coming to an end and we are all going our separate ways.”

The Title 10 team will be released from active duty Aug. 31. Most of them will be folding back into Station Philadelphia’s reserve component helping to raise the reserve capability, while a few will be taking orders to a small boat station in Virginia.

“Our Title 10 personnel have been a God send,” said Chief Petty Officer Chad Lawler, the officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Philadelphia. “Although they were activated to conduct military out loads, they took ownership of our PWCS mission, providing a bridge for the unit, allowing our active duty to certify as tactical boat coxswains and tactical boat crewmen. Before our Title 10 folks, we had only two fully certified tactical boat crews. Since the title 10 were able to conduct the PWCS mission, without active duty assistance, this provided the dedicated time to focus on building more tactical boat crews on the active duty side. We now have six fully certified tactical boat crews. Without the efforts of the Title 10, the unit would have been underwater and not able to fulfill our PWCS obligations. I can truly say, without our title 10 boys, Station Philadelphia would not be operating at the high level that it is today!”

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