President Joe Biden has issued an executive order authorizing the activation of reservists by the military to provide support to Ukraine in its ongoing conflict. The executive order allows for the effective conduct of Operation Atlantic Resolve within the United States European Command’s area of responsibility.
Under the executive order, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security for the Coast Guard, is authorized to activate units or individuals not currently assigned to a unit. The total number of reservists called to active duty will not exceed 3,000 at any given time, with a maximum of 450 members from the Individual Ready Reserve.
The activation of reservists and the designation of Operation Atlantic Resolve as a contingency operation reaffirm the unwavering support and commitment of the United States to the defense of NATO’s eastern flank in the wake of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked war on Ukraine. This decision aims to enhance the U.S. military presence and operations in the U.S. European Command’s area of responsibility.
The executive order unlocks additional capabilities and authorities, enabling better support and sustainment of forces engaged in Operation Atlantic Resolve. Reservists called to active duty will receive the same benefits as their active duty counterparts, including increased contracting responsiveness and personnel-related entitlements. The activation also enhances the Pentagon’s ability to track spending associated with the contingency operation.
President Biden’s executive order comes after his participation in a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where NATO members pledged continued support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. The United States has provided significant assistance and incurred substantial costs in support of Ukraine, including over $78 billion in government aid since January 24, 2022, with more than $43 billion allocated for military aid according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.