In a significant move, President Joe Biden has issued an executive order granting permission for the military to activate reservists, who will provide much-needed support to Ukraine in its ongoing conflict. This executive order specifically allows for the effective execution of Operation Atlantic Resolve within the region covered by the United States European Command.
Under this order, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security for the Coast Guard, has been granted the authority to activate individuals or entire units who are not currently assigned to any particular unit. It is important to note that the total number of reservists called to active duty will not surpass 3,000 at any given time, with a maximum of 450 members from the Individual Ready Reserve.
This decision to activate reservists and designate Operation Atlantic Resolve as a contingency operation reinforces the unwavering dedication and support of the United States in defending NATO’s eastern flank, considering Russia’s unlawful and unprovoked war against Ukraine. The goal is to strengthen the presence and operations of the U.S. military within the area of responsibility covered by the U.S. European Command.
The executive order also unlocks additional capabilities and authorities that will substantially enhance the support and sustainment of forces engaged in Operation Atlantic Resolve. Reservists who are called to active duty will be entitled to the same benefits as their active duty counterparts, including more responsive outsourcing and personnel-related entitlements. The activation will also improve the Pentagon’s ability to monitor the expenses associated with this contingency operation.
President Biden’s executive order follows his participation in a NATO summit held in Vilnius, Lithuania, where NATO members pledged their continued support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. The United States has already provided significant assistance to Ukraine and has incurred substantial costs. Since January 24, 2022, the government aid to Ukraine has amounted to over $78 billion, with more than $43 billion allocated specifically for military aid, as reported by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.