NEWS | April 8, 2021

U.S. Navy Reservists take the Watch

Reserve personnel provide operational support to Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7, forward-deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

Lt. Cmdr Allen Bui and Lt. Glen Rugaber arrived in Okinawa, Japan late last year to augment the strike group’s watch bill as personnel prepared for the upcoming deployment.

Following ROM requirements in the current COVID environment both Bui and Rugaber quickly attained their qualifications and accepted the responsibility of taking over the watch station of Battle Watch Captain (BWC).

The strike group’s BWC is held accountable for 24/7 continuity of operations, management of equities, and information dissemination across all ESG 7 units. While not the most iconic watch in the U.S. Navy, being a BWC is a huge responsibility.

“The Battle Watch Captain is tasked with understanding the operational picture when it comes to afloat units and being able to answer the hard questions at any given time they are on watch and must also coordinate events and movements up and down the chain of command as well as across forces.” said Bui

In the past four months, Bui and Rugaber have sharpened their skills in understanding procedures at a tactical level and the procedures of reporting to ensure the most accurate and timely information is being shared to assist with decision making at all levels.

“Coming in each day is different and we never know what to expect. Some days are slower than others but we know to always stay on our toes because anything can happen in this dynamic area of operations,” said Rugaber

Most importantly every Sailor knows that clear communication and smooth turnovers are key to any watch station, and this one is no different. Just like any other watch station the leadership understand the importance of having the right personnel in the right place at the right time and according to leadership these reservist have certainly proved their worth here at ESG 7.

"Every day the Naval Reserve makes a difference around the world, and Commander Task Force 76 is no exception," said Rear Admiral Fred Kacher, commander Expeditionary Strike Group 7. "Our reserve watchstanders have been an essential part of our team, and their professionalism and capability have given me enhanced flexibility as a forward deployed commander during our strike group's most recent patrol in this incredibly dynamic maritime region."

Lt. Cmdr. Bui is designated as an Information Professional and assigned to a Naval Information Warfare reserve unit in Hawaii. He has been serving 11 years, as a reservist following enlisted active duty in the U.S. Air Force.

Lt. Rugaber is currently based in Las Vegas, NV.  Prior to transitioning to the reserves, he served six years on active duty as a Surface Warfare Officer and stood over 1400 hours as Officer of the Deck.

ESG 7, which comprises ships of Amphibious Squadron 11 along with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.