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    Task Force Med earns Consequence Management Response Force certification

    Task Force Med earns Consequence Management Response Force certification

    Photo By Sgt. Jessica Kuhn | Members of Joint Task Force Civil Support Headquarters, a chemical, biological,...... read more read more

    NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, UNITED STATES

    03.16.2009

    Story by Spc. Jessica Kuhn 

    49th Public Affairs Detachment   

    NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. – For most Americans, today may start like any other day. Wake up, shower, eat breakfast, all before starting their normal journey off to work.

    But what if today is the day terrorists decide to attack the United States? How is our military preparing medically for the aftermath of the attack?

    A component of Joint Task Force Civil Support's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive Consequence Management Response Force, Task Force Medical, took part in an exercise here to test their ability to effectively respond to a CBRNE incident.

    TF Med is part of the CCMRF team, which provides a response capability to multiple near-simultaneous CBRNE events, and whose primary role is to augment the consequence management efforts of first responders by providing complimentary and unique capabilities to recovery efforts already underway.

    The exercise, called Sudden Response 09, took place here and Fort Monroe, Va., Feb. 27 - March 6. It featured a simulated terrorist attack in Orlando, Fla., with the use of radiological dispersal devices – dirty bombs - in ten different densely populated areas. JTF-CS TF Med's goal for SR 09 was to earn their certification, fully prepared to join the rest of the CCMRF team in the mission.

    "The certification part of the exercise [was] a measuring stick to tell whether or not the staff of TF Med [had] the sufficient knowledge and training to be able to assume the medical mission in support of the CCMRF," said Col. John A. Powell, the commander of 62nd Medical Brigade out of Fort Lewis, Wash. and TF Med.

    Throughout the exercise, observer/controllers evaluated how TF Med responded to questions and emergencies, Powell explained.

    TF Med's overall individual mission is to rapidly deploy to provide health service support and force health protection to DoD forces as well as help with civilian medical support when requested, Powell explained.

    "Our focus is to provide medical augmentation in support of state and local efforts to save lives," said Capt. Mark Knight, the TF Med liaison officer between 62nd Medical Brigade and JTF-CS.

    TF Med brings a number of resources to the table, including command and control medical assets, medical care and treatment, distribution of medical supplies, medical equipment repair, preventive medicine, and veterinary services. They are also able to assist in decontamination efforts and can provide logistical support evacuating patients in or near a disaster site.

    "Other unique skills we can share are mental health counseling, pastoral care and stress management through our Special Medical Augmentation Response Team," Knight said.

    In order to ensure that TF Med is prepared for the mission, the exercise presented them with several different real-life scenarios to work through.

    "Training accidents, injuries and even some accidents resulting in death [were] put into play during the exercise to test the task force," Powell said. "It [was] in order to make sure that the task force can handle not just the average but even the unusual events and scenarios that would take place in the course of an attack."

    Altogether, the TF Med team has about 650 service members, including trained doctors, physician assistants, nurses, veterinarians, and several other medical specialists to help assist the other task forces with the mission.

    "There is nothing as important as life, and if you can help preserve life and position people who are hurt or injured during a disaster for a speedy recovery, then you are doing the right thing," said Powell. "That is what TF Med [was] here to accomplish."

    At the closure of the exercise, TF Med was awarded their certification, and will now join the rest of the CCMRF team in their CBRNE mission.

    JTF-CS is a standing joint task force comprised of active, reserve and National Guard members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, as well as civilian personnel, and is commanded by a federalized National Guard general officer. Executing a domestic consequence management mission requires JTF-CS to work closely with the many other federal, state, and local agencies that also respond to CBRNE situations.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.16.2009
    Date Posted: 03.16.2009 11:16
    Story ID: 31165
    Location: NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, US 

    Web Views: 607
    Downloads: 512

    PUBLIC DOMAIN