Training and exercises are the two key components of the overall training program. Achieving a level of enhanced readiness is directly linked to both. The challenge is to utilize the limited resources available during the development phases through a rigorous training and exercise program. Training must be conducted to ensure an efficient and effective response. Exercises offer an opportunity to practice response operations and to validate training preparations. Ultimately the real test will be when the first unit responds to an event -- turning victims into patients, rather than collecting casualties for body bags.
This challenge is complicated by the fact that this effort is evolutionary. Instruction must focus on the unique aspects of a domestic WMD response. On the surface, responding to civilian casualties in a downtown metropolitan area would seem to have similar tasks that a soldier would perform when responding to a fellow member on the battlefield. The key difference is in the emergency operational environment. One is a wartime theater and the other is just as chaotic, just as lethal but CONUS based. Of course there is a correlation to the individual tasks and the circumstances surrounding the event, the response and the associated functions the unit will perform when it arrives on scene. Yet, the specific conditions may vary greatly given the unique nature of a WMD attack in a CONUS setting. Performance based objectives will define the overall training needed for these teams to effectively respond.
Identification of the Performance Based Training Objectives for the first responder community has been an ongoing CBDCOM effort. This program should reap the benefits of that hard work by leveraging the already developed CBDCOM compendium of courses and program of instruction and then tailoring them to meet the training requirements of the state response teams. Orchestrating that effort will have to be accomplished by the program office. Concept development and rigorously exercising the response elements will help refine doctrine development. To meet the challenges of such an incident, an integrated training approach must be applied for both civilian and military personnel. Training for and response to a WMD incident is an interwoven process that must be viewed and analyzed as a total system.
In addition to leveraging CBDCOMs programs of instruction, a "Center for Excellence" should be established as the accrediting body to oversee WMD training to ensure a complete crosswalk between both civilian and military training. One solution would leverage the seven Institutional Training Divisions TRADOC approved chemical training battalions and medical training brigades to support the Center for Excellence. Another solution could include expanding the current training base through the use of mobile training teams to satisfy training requirements. The program office needs to determine the cost reduction potential realized through innovative training technologies such as distance learning and interactive CD-ROM. Utilizing these capabilities could dramatically reduce the costs associated with training large numbers of military response elements. TRADOC schools and courses should integrate the Incident Command System, Civilian HAZMAT procedures and the Federal Response Plan into lesson plans and programs of instruction.
In addition, simulation exercises will provide city leaders, first responders and other federal partners a cost-effective method of testing current response procedures. In conjunction with training objectives, exercises can be tailored to individual city or state needs, allowing them to improve their process to meet specific training requirements.
In particular, first responder training is viewed as the single most critical area for enhancing the nations capability to respond to domestic terrorism. This training addresses the competence of skills needed to execute WMD response missions. There does exist a training gap between battlefield skills and the unique response skills required for civil WMD missions. In addition to providing individual training for the teams outlined in this plan, awareness training to the entire Reserve Component community will enhance our nations overall response capability. Awareness training linked to ongoing unit training delivered using distance learning technology or via interactive CDROM capability provides low cost solutions with a high impact yield. Course material developed by CBDCOM for training first responders under the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici program is a readily available training source.
Awareness Chemical Biological Plus (ABC+) Program
Early detection, identification and notification of the emergency management system is essential to saving lives and mitigating the effects of a WMD event. Situational awareness, recognizing symptoms and effects, knowing what to do and who to call, is the theme of the ABC+ training program. During the first year of this integration program, a small cadre at each installation, reserve center and armory will receive the ABC+ training. ABC+ is based on the NBC awareness course currently being taught in the NLD City Training Program. In addition to the awareness training, key leaders and individuals will receive training in WMD emergency procedures. These procedures will also reinforce the proper techniques, protocols, and references that are essential to first responders. The intent is to answer questions that might be asked and provide an awareness of particular items to be alert to as the events develop during a WMD event. An ABC+ checklist will be provided that will guide the person through a series of questions that provide a profile of a potential WMD attack. ABC+ training will be provided on an interactive CD-ROM. At a minimum, full time National Guard and Reserve Component staff members need to complete the ABC+ training.
Preparing for a WMD response requires a focus on new and different tasks for some units. While many of these tasks are complementary to the units mission, some tasks have a new focus. Unit training builds on the individual skill proficiency to achieve unit domestic readiness. Rigorous training exercises are most appropriate for units with a WMD mission. These exercises require an understanding of the critical infrastructure nodes and emergency response protocols within the state and local communities to allow response units to refine "battle drill" techniques. The focus of unit training should provide immediate feedback to participants, which reinforces individual skills training. Also, measuring the effectiveness of completed training will identify areas that require further improvement. Unit NBC Defense Teams provide a WMD response capability as well. These teams are trained today for their military NBC mission and a basic orientation on the unique WMD tasks will be necessary. Annually, these defense teams exercise for their wartime mission, which is their primary orientation. With a minimum investment, a special training module could be developed that would provide a WMD track for the NBC Defense Teams. The Program will coordinate this initiative with the appropriate proponent school.
Course Evaluation and Development
The timely evaluation of training courses and materials is critical to ensuring that course content is properly focused. In this way emerging tactics, techniques, and procedures applicable to WMD responses will be made available to units.
Exercises allow the teams, elements and units to practice for the WMD mission. A critical step in this process is learning the roles and responsibilities that individuals will assume should an actual incident occur. Exercises provide the opportunity to practice and develop skills as well as foster teamwork among responders and between agencies. Exercises ensure that a crisis is not the first opportunity for interagency coordination among responders. Lessons learned and opportunities to improve should be documented and shared with our interagency partners.
Exercises complement and enhance training activities. Since the Regional Training Brigades have the mission to conduct exercises using simulation, WMD scenarios can be developed for this capability.
The overarching training objective is to employ joint, interagency, and intergovernmental efforts to mitigate the effects of a WMD incident. The specific training objective may be broad or narrow in scope. A broad application of this training objective is focused on training interagency leaders and staffs in response management. A narrow application focuses on a specific sub-system not normally exercised by local emergency services such as planning decontamination of urban infrastructure assisting survivors, preventing additional casualties from chemical or radioactive agent drift, or restoration of public order.
WMD Simulation Training Exercises (WMD SIMEX) will be conducted after initial training has been completed. The WMD SIMEX is a modified SPECTRUM or JANUS driven training event focusing on key leaders and response agencies. A CD-ROM and/or Internet based interactive computer-assisted training program with learner controls, practical exercises, and comprehensive assessments will be developed to support this program. The concept behind a WMD SIMEX is similar to the militarys use of simulation training prior to field training exercises in order to maximize scarce operational dollars.
This methodology parallels the Army Battle Command Training Program. A read-ahead package made available provides selected materials appropriate to the training audience. Seminars bring interagency teams together to learn the process of reducing risk and mitigating the effects of a WMD attack. The exercise concludes with an Incident Command Post Exercise which brings interagency teams together in their actual operations centers to deal with issues, including fog and friction, generated by the separation in time and space from an event. The CBDCOM sponsored training provides a model for developing future training simulations.
Regional Training Exercise
This event brings all regional responders to a training incident and evaluates the entire response. The exercise is a joint, city, state, and federal effort. The leadership of these organizations should have completed a WMD SIMEX prior to a regional training exercise in order to maximize the benefit of the training event. Lessons learned will generate improvements in response.
A read-ahead package provides selected materials appropriate to the training audience. Civic leaders choose tasks they wish to exercise. Training scenarios will pull together the interagency team in a focused training exercise that allows them to operate together to reduce and mitigate the effects of a WMD. Through realistic execution the teams will test emergency response plans and coordination of responsibilities which will serve as the basis for formulating and testing alternatives to developing capabilities. Finally, an after action review process emphasizes lessons learned from and a take home packet provides direction for future interagency training events.
Modeling and Simulations
Many elaborate simulation models and simulation tools have been developed for Major Theater Warfare scenarios using current Active and Reserve Component data. These models can be adapted to scenarios which impact the civilian populace at large. Data generated from these models can produce hazard effects, which would be useful identifying "hot zones", evacuation areas and safe areas. Custom reports generated from these databases could instantaneously identify units within the geographic proximity of an event by zip code. This will be helpful for identifying gaps in the existing capability. More important, it will facilitate decisions about fielding force structure that could be used to fill current force structure gaps.
Two agencies that provided invaluable help to the Tiger Team include the Concepts Analysis Agency and Defense Special Weapons Agency. Each organization has extensive experience in developing modeling and simulations for the Department of Defense. Furthermore, each organization has the technical expertise to assist the future efforts of the program office in many ways including doctrine and training development. Areas of interest for the program office include: determine WMD impact, number of casualties in a contaminated area, downwind hazard, areas to avoid and evacuate, neutralization procedures, analyze and determine tasks and their priority, and estimate response force size and composition.
When used properly, simulations and models can create the environment and stress needed for effective response options. Proper use ensures quality training that can compensate for fiscal constraints that limit live exercises. In addition, simulations and modeling efforts will provide leaders at all levels effective training alternatives.
Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Sustainment Training
The Senior Interagency Coordination Group Sustainment Training Process Action Team has recommended four Courses of Action for providing training to first responders following the initial 120 cities:
1. Maintain the Domestic Preparedness Training Teams for the cities beyond the current mandate.
2. Use or expand the existing training infrastructure to include NBC models.
3. Enable the cities to train themselves.
4. Empower the states to execute sustainment training by providing them a menu of approved Domestic Preparedness training courses.
Their plan provides multiple options depending on funding availability. Integration of Reserve Component personnel into each of the courses of action could leverage the unique capabilities and geographic dispersion to provide a cost-effective training opportunity.
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