In addition to the F-35 Lightning II and the F-16 Fighting Falcon, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., also houses several tenant units, to include the U.S. Navy Operational Support Center-Phoenix which supports hundreds of Sailors from 21 Navy Reserve units consisting of all ranks and specialties.
“The biggest difference between a reservist and an active-duty Sailor is that a reservist has two careers,” said Cmdr. Justin Collins, NOSC-Phoenix commanding officer. “The NOSC is here to support Reserve Sailors’ ability to maintain maximum military readiness while performing a civilian career.”
The NOSC-Phoenix, comprised of 21 active-duty Sailors, three civilians and 715 Reserve Sailors, serves a full-time command and administrative staff, a medical unit and reservists during drill weekends. It also has a 4,800 square foot drill hall, command staff offices, reserve unit administration spaces, medical and dental examination areas, six classrooms and a distance learning center.
“As my first command, I truly believe that the NOSC-Phoenix has not only prepared me to lead strongly in my rate, but also has taught me the importance of the Navy Reserves,” said Personnel Specialist Petty Officer 2nd Class Joselyn Quijada. “Being at Luke has been enjoyable because we have always had healthy relationships with the Airmen and leadership on base.”
There are more than 7,000 active and Reserve Sailors who hail from Arizona and more than 56,700 Navy retirees currently living in the state. In addition to providing them administrative services, the NOSC-Phoenix supports these members and their families by providing casualty assistance calls and funeral honors support.
The previous NOSC located in Phoenix, was built in the 1950s and was quickly becoming outdated. The high crime rate in the surrounding neighborhood not only served as a cause of concern to the service members assigned there, but also made it difficult to meet mandatory anti-terrorism and force protection criteria.
The move to Luke in 2012 meant they would be located on a military installation which provided a new, state-of-the-art facility and a secure work environment for the members.
The NOSC-Phoenix was the first building within the Naval Reserve Force and the Naval Installations Command Enterprise to be awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum rating. LEED Platinum is the highest of four standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council that measures sustainability by describing how well the design and construction process conserves energy and resources, lowers operating costs and optimizes well-being and quality of life.
“Our building was designed and built to maximize energy efficiency with cost savings,” said Collins. “That is definitely important in a time where the military must be environmentally and fiscally responsible.”
Given the nature of the NOSC’s respective mission, their operations remain independent from Luke’s pilot and Airman training. However, as a tenant command here, they provide the 56th Fighter Wing with spaces for meetings, conferences, awards and change of command ceremonies.
“The 56th FW and NOSC-Phoenix have maintained an excellent relationship,” said Collins. “From the biennial air show to the honorary commander program to the intramural leagues, NOSC-Phoenix has definitely been included and involved in the Luke team.”