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    JTF-RNC ready, responsive, reliable ahead of RNC event

    JTF-RNC ready, responsive, reliable ahead of RNC event

    Photo By Capt. Briana McFarland | Service Members from the Joint Task Force - Republican National Convention (JTF-RNC)...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell and Capt. Briana McFarland

    382nd Public Affairs Detachment

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - North Carolina National Guardsmen serve as a force provider - offering defense support and response to Civil Authorities to protect people, property and public infrastructure as part of the Joint Task Force – Republic National Convention (JTF-RNC) in Charlotte, North Carolina Aug. 21-24, 2020.

    The JTF-RNC – consisting of NCNG Guardsman, Active Duty Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Department of Defense civilians – provided weapons of mass destruction detection, with the U.S. Secret Service being the primary Federal agency for security operations.

    The NCNG 42nd Civil Support Team (CST), and the seven other CST teams across the United States worked with the Marine Corps’ Task Force - Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (TF-CBIRF) and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Explosive Detection Dog (TF-EOD) units to help clear and secure buildings prior to the RNC and were positioned to respond, if needed, during the main event, Aug. 24, 2020.

    “We’re providing radiological support to the Department of Energy and we’re also providing support to the fire and life safety teams that are on the ground responding to issues that arise,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bradley Merritt, commander of the 42nd CST. “We’re here to provide all the chemical radiological biological support to Charlotte in the event something does happen, even after all the federal-level assets leave.”

    Successful missions are usually marked by full participation, with every entity taking an active role. However, for JTF-RNC a job well done meant most of the organizations involved maintained a stand-by status throughout the event - prepared and ready, but luckily not all needed.

    “It’s vital for the RNC even though we are a standby force,” said Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 3 Talal Hafez, the chemical biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) officer for TF-CBIRF. “Our ability to stand by outside the venue or the immediate area of the venue makes us an expeditionary force to support.”

    Had an incident occurred, TF-CBIRF was ready to provide decontamination support as well as assist with search and rescue efforts. In addition to protecting against potential CBRN threats during the RNC, the National Guard Reaction Force, consisting of military police officers, maintained a ready state should they be called to support local law enforcement (LLE). This allows LLE flexibility to manage priority issues with their resources.

    “We’re supplying direct support for Civil Authorities including Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department and Emergency Services,” said Capt. Warren Hardin, the liaison officer serving with the Emergency Operations Center.

    The main priority was safeguarding the lives and property of our citizens and visitors to the state. NCNG security forces also monitored activity around the joint operations center to ensure JTF-RNC was protected.

    “We’re currently running the security forces operation ensuring that we’re checking IDs properly, staying vigilant [and] making sure that there’s no security breaches throughout the area,” said Sergeant 1st Class Nicholas Helms, the noncommissioned officer in charge of security forces and a Guardsman with the 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

    Planning for such a huge event involved a lot of moving pieces. However, the joint task force underwent special training in searching property, site security, and inter-agency operations, among other things, ensuring the force was ready and responsive.

    “It took over a year's worth of planning from the NCNG to help provide a safe and successful National Special Security Event (NSSE) for the RNC,” said Maj. James Rossi, the JTF-RNC Project Officer who serves with the NCNG’s 130th MEB. “We conducted a Joint Operations Training Course in January and a virtual Joint Staff Training Course in May.”

    Other training included preparing and validating the National Guard Reaction Force from the 105th Military Police Battalion and the Security Force Packages from the 105th Engineer Battalion for any consequence management scenarios that could have taken place during the RNC. Although some subordinate units were not needed, there was still plenty to be gained from the efforts preparing for the convention.

    “We were able to build relationships with our partner local, state, and federal agencies to ensure when it came to NSSE execution we knew, as an organization, who to contact and integrate with,” Rossi said.

    JTF-RNC will mark this mission as a success, making all parties involved better able to handle the missions they are faced with in the future.



    Date Taken: 08.26.2020
    Date Posted: 08.26.2020 12:07
    Story ID: 376825
    Location: CHARLOTTE, NC, US 

    Web Views: 151
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