Defense, Guard Establish 8 Homeland Response Force Units
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 12, 2010 Eight more homeland response force units will be established in fiscal 2012, Defense Department and National Guard Bureau officials said here today.
The units are regional forces that will cross state lines when needed. They are part of a restructuring of the nation’s chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive consequence management enterprise.
Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, Utah and California each will host a homeland response force unit. On June 3, officials announced Ohio and Washington would receive units that will be operational in fiscal 2011.
One unit will be based in each of the 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency regions. The units are scheduled to have 570 Guardsmen, and each will have a medical team, a search and extraction team, a decontamination team and very robust command and control capabilities, officials said. The units are arranged in such a way that they will be able to drive to the site of an event within 12 hours.
The units will be key elements of the new Defense Department chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive consequence management enterprise. The enterprise also will include a defense CBRNE Response Force, two consequence-management command and control elements, 57 weapons of mass destruction civil support teams and 17 CBRNE-enhanced response force packages.
When not deployed for consequence-management operations, unit personnel will focus on planning, training, and exercising at the regional level.
The forces are part of a larger reorganization of the Defense Department’s domestic consequence management enterprise recommended in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.