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USTRANSCOM’s reserve force charts new era

Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, front left, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, and Army Maj. Gen. Cheryn Fasano, front center, 11th and final Joint Transportation Reserve Unit commander and now mobilization assistant to Van Ovost, poses with members of the JTRU prior to the unit’s deactivation. (U.S. Transportation Command photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Allison Paris)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) deactivated its Joint Transportation Reserve Unit (JTRU) during a ceremony on Oct. 21, following three decades of service.

The JTRU's mission was to enhance USTRANSCOM's ability to project and sustain military power at a time and place of the nation's choosing. Its deactivation will allow a realignment to a Reserve element within USTRANSCOM, enabling increased integration across the command. 

Initiated in 1991, the JTRU was the nation's first joint reserve unit — often referred to as an early "prototype" by the Joint Staff. But when put to the test in operations Desert Shield and Storm, the Defense Department quickly realized the value of having a mix of services in its reserve force.

"Without your efforts, our ability to underwrite the lethality of the joint force would be impossible," said USTRANSCOM Commander, Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost. "Without your service and dedication, American interests around the globe would be at greater risk."

Van Ovost added that the realignment will maximize the combatant command's capabilities, "bringing to bear the full force of our Reserve component," she continued.

"With China's aims to unseat the current global order, Russia's brutal aggression, and regional conflict threatening global peace, we are driven to adapt now or face irrelevance," Van Ovost said. "As the character of warfare continues to evolve, we will continue to evolve with it, ensuring we remain agile and relevant to future challenges, crises and conflict."

Van Ovost highlighted that despite the changes, the nearly 90,000 reservists remain critical members of the USTRANSCOM family.

"Remember this: Wherever USTRANSCOM must go, our reserve family will be there," Van Ovost continued. "USTRANSCOM will be there for you and your family."

Army Maj. Gen. Cheryn Fasano, the 11th and final commander of the JTRU, echoed Van Ovost's sentiment, noting that the unit's legacy does not end here.

"I'm exceptionally proud of the work that you've done," Fasano said. "For 32 years, you've delivered for USTRANSCOM, standing at the forefront from the COVID response cell ... to delivering hope to Ukraine; USTRANSCOM would not be able to complete their mission successfully without those contributions of the reserve force."

The ceremony also featured a video that highlighted 30 years of support, including deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq and their involvement in Operation Allies Refuge, the largest evacuation operation in history.

Having relinquished command of the JTRU, Fasano will continue to serve USTRANSCOM as the mobilization assistant to Van Ovost.

Watch the JTRU deactivation ceremony on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKt0RAV9i3c&t=11s.

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