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AFRC muster draws IRR Airmen from across country

ROBINS AFB, Ga. -- The latest Air Force Reserve Command Individual Ready Reserve muster proved to be more than just a way to keep in touch with former Airmen who may be mobilized back into the service during an emergency.

It also served as an opportunity to gauge interest among IRR Airmen to voluntarily return to service in the Air Force Reserve or active duty.

A total of 167 IRR Airmen, from as far away as Nevada, attended a muster here, Aug. 5, at the base theater. AFRC headquarters partnered with the Air Reserve Personnel Center, 78th Air Base Wing, Department of Veterans Affairs and Air Force Reserve recruiters to conduct the event.

Around the country, IRR Airmen have completed their active or Reserve duty but still have a contractual obligation to the Air Force. Under a presidential order, they could be recalled to military duty, as happened 10 years ago when some civilians were summoned back to duty for the war in Iraq.

“The IRR could be called upon in a national emergency,” said Brig. Gen. Allan L. Swartzmiller, AFRC inspector general. “If needed at a time of war, we will reach out to our IRR to meet the needs of our nation. Everyone at this muster is a part of that and an invaluable national resource.”

The Air Force is required by law to maintain contact with IRR Airmen in the event a mobilization becomes necessary. But AFRC went above and beyond what the law requires. Saturday’s muster included briefings from the VA, recruiting, ARPC and a host of other agencies with the purpose of helping IRR Airmen transition effectively to civilian life or assist them in rejoining the Air Force if they choose.

“I left the active duty last year, but I’m interested in possibly pursuing an IMA (individual mobilization augmentee) position,” said Zach Schiff, an IRR Airman who left the Air Force as a captain. “This is my first IRR muster, so I want to use this opportunity to see just exactly what the Reserve can offer.”

Although all IRR members are subject to involuntary recall to active duty in time of war, AFRC recruiters used the muster as an opportunity to gauge interest among IRR Airmen to voluntarily return to service in the Reserve now.

“Our No. 1 mission today is talking to folks about opportunities within the Reserve and assessing the medical readiness of our IRR members,” said AFRC in-service recruiter Tech. Sgt. Anthony White. “We can also provide up-to-date information to these former Airmen and answer any questions they might have about restarting their service in the Air Force Reserve."

A benefit of recruiting from the IRR pool is that the members are already trained in their individual career fields. This potentially saves AFRC huge sums of money versus training new recruits who would need much more formal training.

“The IRR muster was a great success, said AFRC senior recruiter Senior Master Sgt. Jesse Tremer. “We had a total of 167 attendees and generated 43 potential leads. More than 25 percent of the attendees expressed an interest in continuing to serve in a participating status.”

“By targeting qualified assets, we are increasing AFRC end strength and saving thousands of dollars in the process,” Tremer said. “It was a very successful event that took great team effort between all of the agencies that participated.”