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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 27, 1999


Today, I authorized the Secretaries of Defense and Transportation to order to active duty up to 33,102 essential members of our Reserve component to support NATO and U.S. operations related to the conflict in Kosovo.

The Secretary of Defense has informed me that he intends to exercise that authority immediately to recall approximately 2,000 essential Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard crews from eight states. These Reservists will support refueling operations for our intensifying air operations in Kosovo. I expect that over the coming days and weeks, Secretary Cohen and General Shelton will call upon additional personnel from all branches of the service to fill critical support positions in our humanitarian and combat operations in and around the former Yugoslavia. These reserves are essential to America's military strength; they are part of the total force we bring to bear whenever our men and women in uniform are called to action.

All Americans are proud of the commitment these citizen soldiers make to their country. On behalf of all Americans, I thank each Reservist, their families and loved ones, and their employers here at home for their service and sacrifice in support of our important mission in Kosovo.