Integrated Response Concept
Local response to an emergency situation uses the Incident Command System (ICS) to ensure that all responders and their support assets are coordinated for an effective and efficient response. The Incident Commander is normally the senior responder of the organization with the preponderance of responsibility for the event (e.g., fire chief, police chief, or emergency medical). If local assets are not sufficient to meet the emergency response requirements, they request state (or regional) assets through the State Office of Emergency Services.
The states substantial resources, including the National Guard in state status, are coordinated through the states response plan(s) and are normally coordinated by the states Office of Emergency Services. If state assets are not sufficient to meet the emergency response requirements, they request federal assets through the FEMA Regional Operations Center.
The Presidential Decision Directive 39 entitled "U.S. Policy on Counterterrorism" recognizes that there must be a rapid and decisive capability to protect U.S. citizens, defeat or arrest terrorists, respond against terrorist sponsors, and provide relief to victims. The goals during the immediate response phase of an incident are to terminate the terrorist attack so that terrorists do not accomplish their objectives or maintain their freedom, and to minimize loss of life and damage and to provide emergency assistance to the affected area. In responding to a terrorist incident, Federal departments and agencies rapidly deploy the needed Federal capabilities to the scene, including specialized elements for dealing with specific types of incidents resulting from the threat or actual use of WMD. To coordinate the Federal response, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and FEMA have been assigned lead agency responsibility for crisis and consequence management, respectively, in response to a domestic terrorist threat or incident.
The FBI is the lead agency for crisis management response to acts of domestic terrorism, which includes measures to identify, acquire, and plan the use of resources needed to anticipate, prevent, or resolve a threat or act of terrorism. The laws of the United States assign primary authority to the Federal government to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism; State and local governments provide assistance as required. Crisis management is predominantly a law enforcement response.
Crisis management activities include active measures for prevention, immediate incident response, and post-incident response. Activities include command of the operational response as the on-scene manager for an incident in coordination with other Federal agencies and State and local authorities. The FBI provides guidance on the crisis management response in the FBI Nuclear Incident Contingency Plan (classified) and the FBI Chemical/Biological Incident Contingency Plan (classified).
FEMA is the lead agency for consequence management, which entails both preparedness for and dealing with the consequences of a terrorist incident. Although the affected State and local governments have primary jurisdiction for emergencies, a terrorist attack involving weapons of mass destruction could create havoc beyond their capability to respond. If this were to happen, FEMA would coordinate consequence management activities including measures to alleviate damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused by the incident; to protect public health and safety; to restore essential government services; and to provide emergency assistance. FEMA would implement the Federal Response Plan, cooperating with State and local emergency response agencies. Final authority to make decisions onscene regarding the consequences of the incident (rescue and treatment of casualties, protective actions for the affected community) rests with the local Incident Commander.
The federal government, including the DoD, responds to emergency requests from the states through the FRP. After the President declares a major disaster or emergency, the resources of the federal government needed to support the state response are managed by the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO). When the State Coordinating Officer makes specific requests for assistance, he or she certifies that the state does not have the capability to meet the requirements. The FCO assigns the request to one of the 12 Emergency Support Functions (ESF) represented within the Emergency Response Team. If the lead agency of any ESF is not able to meet the requirements, it may ask the Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO) to provide the necessary response. The DCO coordinates all federal military assistance provided during the consequence management response.
The DoD supports local, state, and federal government agencies in planning for and responding to domestic emergencies. Local units may respond under the immediate response doctrine when necessary to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property damage. Many units execute memorandums of understanding for mutual support of emergency services with local jurisdictions or municipalities. National Guard units may also respond under state control when directed by appropriate state authorities. Upon the declaration of an emergency or major disaster by the President, the Secretary of Defense or his Executive Agent directs a supported CINC to provide federal military support to the FCO through a DCO and Defense Coordinating Element (DCE). For most domestic emergency responses requiring DoD assets, the DCO controls all DoD response elements. Because of the potentially large number of DoD requirements, the supported CINC may activate a Response Task Force to command and control all federal military personnel responding for consequence management (with the exception the Joint Special Operations Task Force). The RTF deploys to support the federal crisis and consequence management operations in support of the Lead Federal Agency (LFA) during domestic operations. A Chem-Bio Rapid Response Team (CBRRT) under the RTF has been established to provide technical expertise and assessment support to the local officials. A network of Reserve Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers (EPLOs) from all Services in each state and federal region supports the DCO and provides the military interface to coordinate response requirements and activities with each state and federal region.
At the local, state, and federal levels, a task force oriented structure and process responds to the emergency requirements. The missing elements in most structures are the task-oriented, trained and equipped task force elements that actually perform the required response functions. The local civil Incident Commander directs these response elements. Task-organized elements that can be plugged into the task forces at the local, state, or federal level must be formed.
Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve forces possess expertise, trained manpower, and equipment that can support response to chemical, biological, radiological attacks at DoD installations and in civilian communities. As the Department of Defense supports all Emergency Support Functions identified in the FRP, we must be prepared to perform those functions which other agencies are not capable of supporting or simply do not have adequate resources to meet the demand. Specific response functions have been identified that may require substantial military augmentation for execution. Units capable of performing these functions must be focused, task organized, adequately trained, and properly equipped to work in and around nuclear, biological, and chemical hazards.
Todays task organized response assets in the DoD are very limited. Expert and capable response organizations like Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams, the Armys Technical Escort Unit, and the Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force have been involved in the development of response plans and procedures. The RTF staffs have also been instrumental in organizing and employing military assets to support requests for assistance.
Certain DoD laboratories can also be called upon to respond with specialized equipment and capabilities. One such laboratory is the AMC Treaty Laboratory that was established to verify compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It is an ISO 9001 registered quality system that was pre-deployed to support the FBI during the Olympics in Atlanta. The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) is capable of deploying an Aeromedical Isolation Team consisting of physicians, nurses, medical assistants and laboratory technicians. These team members are specially trained to provide care for and transport of patients with diseases caused by either biological warfare agents or infectious diseases requiring high containment. Also, Edgewood Research, Development and Engineering Center (ERDEC) maintains a rapidly deployable mobile environmental monitoring and technical assessment system. This Mobile Analytical Response System (MARS) provides a state-of-the-art analytical assessment of chemical or biological hazards at incident sites. The Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI), through their Biological Defense Research Program (BDRP), has designed reagents, assays and procedures for agents classically identified as biological threat, as well as non-classical threat agents in environmental and clinical specimens. This program has developed rapid, hand-held screening assays that can be deployed globally. Though highly capable in their areas of expertise, these teams are extraordinarily limited in their response capacity and could be easily consumed by a WMD event.
The Office of Naval Research Science & Technology Reserve Program (S&T Reserve Program, or Program 38) has a small cadre dedicated to chemical, biological, and radiological defense (CBRD). These include medical service corps officers, hospital corpsmen, and officers of assorted line designators. Program 38's lead CBRD unit--NR NRL Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Defense Detachment 106 (NR NRL CBRD106)--drills at the headquarters of CBDCOM in the spaces of the Naval Research Laboratory's Detachment to CBDCOM. Program 38 members comprise the Navy's intellectual capital of military personnel in CBRD, and can help the National Team to deal with problems of an unexpected nature; (e.g., one might imagine generically engineered microbes being used against us in which case we can provide Ph.D. microbiologists with connections into academia and industry who could help deal with this problem.) The main contribution of Program 38 officers is probably in providing a reach back resource that responders can tap into to better assess the situation at hand, and formulate the best action to take.
Overall, the group consensus was that the local preparedness for response to WMD terrorist incidents is nominal. To the extent that hazardous material preparedness applies to the NBC arena, some basic military skill levels exist. The group recognized that there are other programs that have specific statutory authority to provide support including the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program and the Non-Stockpile Chemical Material Program. Leveraging the resources provided by these programs as well as the National Disaster Medical System will improve the linkage between expert assistance and the first responders. However, much needed attention must be applied to resourcing, planning, and training for the unique nature of NBC terrorist incidents.
The Stafford Act (P.L. 93-288) establishes the authority and process for "all hazards" response to natural and man-made disasters in the United States. It is implemented through Executive Order 12656 and the FRP.
Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 39 established the policy for crisis and consequence management of terrorist incidents involving the use of weapons of mass destruction.
DoD has assigned the CINCs planning, coordinating, and execution authorities for responding to "all hazards" disasters in the United States and its territories. Response to the consequences of WMD should use the same process as response to other natural and man-made disasters, as specified in the "all-hazard" concepts of the Stafford Act and the FRP and laid out in DoD Directive 3025.1. CINCs have developed plans to support this response as the DoD planning agents for their respective areas. They, in turn, have designated regional planning agents to interface with the other federal agencies and the states. A network of EPLOs from all Services has been established and trained to represent the federal military in each state and in each of the ten federal regions.
DoD support of a federal response to a domestic terrorism incident will be personally managed by the Secretary of Defense, with the assistance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the Secretary of the Army. The DoD crisis management response will be provided through the national interagency terrorism response system. DoD response forces will be employed either under the operational control of the Joint Special Operations Task Force or a Response Task Force assigned to the appropriate Unified Combatant Commander.
The Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996 mandates training and development of capability to respond to WMD attacks in the United States. Response to WMD attacks or accidents must be consistent with the concepts, response model, and responsibilities for other domestic emergencies. We may often be in the situation that we do not know who or what caused the event to which we are responding. Section 1414, Title XIV of the Defense Appropriation, mandates that the SECDEF "shall develop and maintain at least one domestic terrorism rapid response team composed of members of the Armed Forces and employees of DoD who are capable of aiding Federal, state, and local officials in the detection, neutralization, containment, dismantlement, and disposal of weapons of mass destruction containing chemical, biological, or related materials." The DoD has formed the RTF and the CBRRT to meet this requirement. The elements described in this plan further support this requirement.
DoD has developed two consequence management RTFs under the command of U.S. Atlantic Command (USACOM). The headquarters elements of these RTFs are assigned to First and Fifth U.S. Army for responses east and west of the Mississippi River respectively. Forces of the RTF will be tailored and assigned based on the situation. Central to these forces will be technical and specialized units capable of supporting a response to a chemical, biological or radiological incident. One concept being studied is the chemical and biological quick response cell.
Responsibilities for oversight and execution of Title XIV, Subtitle A, Domestic Preparedness, are spread among several organizations. ASD(SO/LIC) has responsibility for policy and resource oversight. The Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Defense Programs) provides resource oversight for equipment procurement. Additionally, in accordance with Section 1413, Title XIV, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) designated the Secretary of the Army (SECARMY) to serve as the Executive Agent for the coordination of DoD training assistance to Federal, state, and local officials to better assist them in responding to threats involving chemical and biological weapons or related materials or technologies, including assistance in identifying, neutralizing, dismantling, and disposing of biological and chemical weapons and related materials and technologies. As the Executive Agent, the Secretary is responsible for developing the planning guidance, plans, implementation, and procedures for the Domestic Preparedness Program. The SECARMY subsequently named the ASA(ILE) as the focal point for all matters in which the Army has executive agency, and the DOMS as the DoD Staff Action Agent. In a separate directive, the SECARMY directed the Commander, Army Materiel Command (AMC) to appoint a DoD Program Director. AMC subsequently directed Commander, CBDCOM to appoint a DoD Program Director with the primary responsibility to implement the basic elements of Title XIV. Also under Title XIV, for nuclear and radiological preparedness, the Secretary of Energy has specific responsibilities. The Secretary of Energy is responsible to test and improve the responses of Federal, State and local agencies involving nuclear and radiological weapons or related materials. Here again, agency responsibility must be communicated clearly and the value of PDD 39 becomes even more evident.
Co-Chaired by FEMA, the Senior Interagency Coordination Group (SICG) on Terrorism was established to facilitate the interagency coordination of policy issues and program activities in support of Federal initiatives to assist Federal, state, and local first responders in responding to WMD incidents. The SICG is composed of senior members from DoD, FEMA, the FBI, the Public Health Service (PHS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Energy (DoE), the Department of Justice (DoJ), the Department of Transportation (DoT), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Communications System (NCS).
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