COMBAT DOCUMENTATION DET. 206 TO STAND DOWN

For decades, NHHC’s reserve unit, the Navy Combat Documentation Detachment 206, collected large amounts of information on current operations. With the end of the war in Afghanistan and changing Navy Reserve billet priorities, assigned Navy Reserve billets supporting the NHHC’s combat documentation and collections mission are to be phased out. The Navy Reserve will defund the unit after this fiscal year. The unit, manned by only reservists, was first established in World War II to assign Navy Reserve officers to collect historical records and interviews for use in official histories, as well as to provide operational historical support to Fleet staffs . During its thirty-five year existence, reservists were sent, many having advanced degrees in history, to cover operations in the Balkans – in the 1990s, Operation Desert Fox, the Cole bombing, Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, as well as operations on the Horn of Africa and in the Pacific. One of the most notable collection efforts followed in the wake of the attacks on 9/11. The unit also conducted numerous end-of-tour interviews with departing senior flag officers and senior naval officials. In addition, the unit often provided reservists to the Joint History Office to participate in joint combat documentation teams to support Combatant Commander collection needs. With the phase out of the NHHC’s reserve unit, the NHHC will need to lean on the other service’s active duty and reserve service members who currently perform this mission to fill-in when the US Navy needs operational historical support, collection and documentation in forward deployed combat zones.

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