As mentioned in Chapter 1, the team selected the Federal mission as the principle to guide the organization of the response elements. Under this organizing principle, the immediate response elements act as the tip of the Federal MSCA spear. It is anticipated the initial WMD response would be in a State status, under the control of the Governor. Since the units outlined in this plan remain DoD assets, the units force structure would also be available to support the homeland defense and MSCA missions, and provide a secondary warfighting capability.
Current legislative initiatives
Status of full time personnel: The team analyzed a number of options regarding the status of full time personnel. These included: state active duty (SAD), full time National Guard duty for special work (Title 32), full time Active Guard and Reserve duty (AGR)(Title 32) and active duty for special work (Title 10). The team recommends full time Active Guard and Reserve duty (AGR)(Title 32), for National Guard personnel. This status best enables the personnel to perform required missions within the envisioned command and control structure and with federal military personnel benefits. This status provides a career track for soldiers who will be highly skilled and in high demand. A change to current statutes covering Title 32 is necessary since the WMD mission is operational in nature. The specific language has been included in the fast-track legislative package being staffed separate from this plan.
Stafford Act Amendments: The team also recommends amending provisions of the Stafford Disaster Assistance Act that concern Federal and State disaster preparedness programs and disaster response, to include WMD incidents within the definition of a disaster under the act and to authorize the use of the National Guard (as defined in section (101)(3) of Title 32) or the reserve components (as named in Section 10101 of Title 10) "to take such actions that may be necessary to provide an immediate response to a disaster involving a weapon of mass destruction" (as that term is defined in Section 102 of the Act, as it would be amended). The act would also be amended to also require that DoD be reimbursed for any expenses incurred by the department for disaster preparedness programs conducted by the National Guard or the reserve Components from funds "appropriated for the purposes of the Act" and to authorize the Secretary of Defense, at the request of the Director of FEMA, to direct the National Guard and Reserve Components to conduct training exercises, preposition equipment and other items, and to take such other actions that may be necessary to provide an immediate response to an incident involving a weapon of mass destruction (as that term is defined in Section 102 of the Act, as it would be amended). The Department of Defense would be reimbursed with funds made available for the purposes of disaster relief. These changes facilitate use of the reserve component in WMD response under the Stafford Act.
Fast Track Legislation
As mentioned previously in this document, WMD response activity will be quite different. In fact, federal resources may be required much earlier than during a typical disaster response. Given this potential, access to federal resources takes on a new and perhaps even demanding dimension. With quick access in mind, now is the time to work the accessibility issues, not after an event has occurred. Both have unique features but it appears that at a minimum, the amendment to 10 USC 12301(b) deserves favorable consideration. The 10 USC 12304 amendment addresses access but extends the current PSRC authority to WMD related incidents. The nature of just these amendments is an example of the issues requiring attention. More work remains necessary. Perhaps, in the end, a new status covering operational missions will be most appropriate for the type duty outlined in this plan. The two categories for consideration are listed below:
1. Extension of Involuntary Call-up Authority to 30 Days: Amendment to 10 USC 12301(b). That section currently authorizes the Secretary of a military department to order, without the consent of the persons affected, any unit, and any member not assigned to a unit organized to serve as a unit, in an active status in a reserve component under the jurisdiction of the Secretary to active duty for not more than 15 days a year. This amendment would increase a period of active duty from 15 to 30 days a year. This authority would enable the military departments to initially respond more effectively to a domestic incident involving a weapon of mass destruction and to make members of the ready reserve more readily available to participate in other operational missions.
2. Enhanced access to the Reserve Components: Amendment to 10 USC 12304(b) concerning the authority of the President to authorize the Secretary of Defense to order members of the Selective Reserve to active duty not in time of war or during a national emergency declared by Congress and amendments to the Stafford Act to authorize and facilitate DoD preparation for and response in WMD consequence management situations. Currently, Section 12304(b) prohibits such an order to active duty "to provide assistance to either the Federal Government or a State in time of a serious natural or manmade disaster, accident, or catastrophe." The amendment inserts a very limited exception to section 12304(b) that would allow a unit or member to be ordered to active duty to provide assistance in responding to an emergency involving a "weapon of mass destruction."
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