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ARPC conducts muster

DENVER -- The Air Reserve Personnel Center's Personnel Readiness Center conducted a muster here yesterday for 57 individual ready reservists. 

The IRR Muster Program, mandated by Title 10 United States Code Section 12319, exists to enhance readiness and ensure the Air Force can "reach out and touch" the IRR population when necessary. IRRs are primarily Air Force members who have served on active duty but still have a military service obligation to the Air Force. 

Annually, ARPC orders IRRs to report to an Air Force base, usually within 150 miles of their residence. Upon arrival, their records are updated, and they receive a basic medical screening and several briefings. IRRs are paid for their time in accordance with Title 37 U.S.C., Section 433. 

Although ARPC has tasked Air Force bases around the country to conduct musters since 1988, this was only the second muster here. The first was in 2001. ARPC will conduct another muster here Thursday. The 150 IRRs ARPC called to muster here are among 5,400 others who will be called throughout the summer to various locations. 

Conducting the muster at ARPC allows the PRC to streamline the planning guides sent to other bases that perform musters, said Master Sgt. Ron Wuis of the PRC.  

"These musters provide the overall structure to gather and maintain IRR member contact and physical condition information, thereby increasing efficiency of the activation process for total or full mobilization," said ARPC Commander Col. Ann Shippy. 

Upon arrival, some IRRs expressed concern about the call to muster in light of current events. "I was concerned when I received orders to report to this muster," said Capt. Amy Mulligan, a member of the IRR and a former intelligence officer who was last assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. "Given current events, it signals to me that they may be preparing to activate us." 

Col. Shippy welcomed the IRRs and assured them this was a routine process to allow ARPC to look at the activation process, not to initiate activation. "The Air Force has not activated the IRR since Desert Storm," she said. 

Col. Doug Carroll, ARPC director of Plans, explained the Air Force Reserve is pushing for increased volunteerism to fulfill its mission. "Basically," he said, "if you want to serve in the Air Force again, we can probably make it happen." 

In fact, 18 IRRs showed interest in participating in the Air Force Reserve and two completed the paperwork on the spot to become individual mobilization augmentees, according to Chief Master Sgt. Mike Bibby, Reserve Recruiting Liaison, who briefed on opportunities to serve and benefits associated with service. 

Capt. Mulligan said she was happy with the process. "They (ARPC representatives) have all been great - very helpful," she said. "I especially liked that they had people on hand to answer questions." 

"Everything went very well today," said Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Carter, also of the PRC and self-proclaimed "muster mama." "We had a few minor issues we'll work out for next week's muster, but we accomplished everything we needed to accomplish."