Biden Authorizes Military to Call Reservists to Active Duty to Support Ukraine War

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President Joe Biden on Thursday issued an executive order authorizing the Pentagon to call reservists to active duty “for the effective conduct” of U.S. military support to Ukraine.

At the same time, the Pentagon designated the U.S. military support to Ukraine since 2014 under Operation Atlantic Resolve a “contingency operation.”

Biden wrote in a message to Congress:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 121 and 12304 of title 10, United States Code, I hereby determine that it is necessary to augment the active Armed Forces of the United States for the effective conduct of Operation Atlantic Resolve in and around the United States European Command’s area of responsibility.

Operation Atlantic Resolve began in 2014 to bolster the U.S. military presence in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and annexation of Crimea.

Biden said in the message that he authorized the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard, to order to active duty any units or individuals not assigned to a unit.

He said in the message that the number would not exceed 3,000 total members at any one time, and no more than 450 members of the Individual Ready Reserve.

Pentagon officials said no troops would be deployed for combat to Ukraine.

Army Lieutenant General D.A. Sims, the Joint Staff J3 director of operations, told reporters:

Based on the level of presence and operations in the U.S. [European Command] area of operations, DOD’s support requirements have grown, as well.  These authorities will enable the department to better support and sustain its enhanced presence and level of operations in the U.S. EUCOM [area of responsibility].

He also said the moves reaffirm “the unwavering support and commitment to the defense of NATO’s eastern flank in wake of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war on Ukraine.”

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