News: Joint Task Force Civil Support tests deployment readiness ahead of presidential State of the Union address
WASHINGTON - Joint Task Force Civil Support conducted a deployment readiness exercise (DRE) Feb. 11, to ensure the unit’s preparedness to support the presidential State of the Union address.
The exercise tested the command’s readiness and ability to respond quickly to a National Special Security Event (NSSE) within two hours of notification of a catastrophic event in the homeland, whether man-made or a natural disaster.
“The DREs ensure the command is at a higher level of readiness for the events in order to respond rapidly to an incident in accordance with established guidelines,” said U.S. Marine Col. David Olszowy, deputy commander, JTF-CS. “Periodic DREs, whether they are deliberate or no-notice evaluations, will help instill and reinforce an expeditionary mindset throughout the command.”
After the simulated notification of a catastrophic event, JTF-CS members received a mission brief, inspected bags, packed vehicles and accounted for all responders to ensure readiness within the two hour window.
After inspections, responders split up into deployment teams, loaded bags into trucks, conducted a convoy brief and awaited the order to deploy.
The result? JTF-CS was ready to respond quickly in the event of a crisis in the Washington D.C. area.
Along with the readiness exercise, JTF-CS deployed a team of medical, logistical, communications and response experts to Washington, on Feb. 10, to assist Joint Task Force National Capitol Region with response planning efforts for the State of the Union Address.
JTF-CS plans to conduct additional DREs in the coming months. “These exercises give us the opportunity to hone our deployment procedures and processes to ensure that we are prepared for rapid deployment at all times. This is critically important if the NSSE will take place after hours, on weekends or holidays,” said Olszowy.
As with any response, time is a critical factor –the quicker the response, the quicker life-saving and life-sustaining personnel and equipment can be employed. Regular exercises to test the command’s response ability help ensure readiness, according to Olszowy. Gear can be pre-packed and pre-staged, vehicles inspected and fueled, teams assembled in pre-determined locations at pre-designated times all allow JTF-CS to cut down on the time needed to respond. Further, these exercises simulate response to a natural disaster or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear incident, the command’s primary mission.
When directed, JTF-CS provides command and control of 5,200 federal military forces-known as the Defense CBRN Response Force-located at more than 36 locations throughout the U.S.
Although CBRN and NSSE incident response are the command’s primary focus, the unit also has the expertise and training to respond to natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.
In November 2012, JTF-CS rapidly deployed to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., in support of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. During the command’s two week deployment, JTF-CS coordinated a variety of federal military support to aid relief efforts, including 80 strategic airlift missions conducted by the Air Mobility Command, 600 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel currently pumping 11 tunnels and waste water treatment plants in both New York and New Jersey and more than two million meals delivered by the Defense Logistics Agency.
For additional information on JTF-CS, visit us online at: www.jtfcs.northcom.mil.
This work, Joint Task Force Civil Support tests deployment readiness ahead of presidential State of the Union address, by PO1 Brian Dietrick, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.