By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2008 – Pentagon officials have established a new rapid-response joint task force and plan to create two more in coming years to bolster assistance to civil authorities following potential chemical, biological or nuclear attacks or natural disasters, a senior U.S. official said here yesterday.
The new units will team with other federal agencies in support of local responders following chemical, biological or nuclear terror attacks on the homeland or during natural disasters, Paul McHale, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and Americas’ security affairs, told American Forces Press Service and Pentagon Channel reporters.
The first new 4,700-member task force was assigned to a component of U.S. Northern Command on Oct. 1, McHale said. The new unit, he said, is built around a core of active-duty soldiers from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Stewart, Ga. This task force, he said, falls under the control of Northcom’s Joint Force Land Component Command, U.S. Army North, in San Antonio.
Plans are to stand up the other two new joint task forces in 2010 and 2011, respectively, McHale said. These units, he said, mostly will comprise reserve component personnel from all the military services.
Each task force will be capable of performing tasks such as medical response, decontamination, technical rescue, patient evacuation, and communications and logistics support, to include air and land transportation assets for transport of supplies, people and equipment, according to U.S. Army North documents.
The new units, he emphasized, do not conduct law-enforcement missions. In the event of civil disturbances and some other types of national emergencies, he said, other designated U.S. military units could be ordered by the president to help civil authorities establish order as part of the Garden Plot domestic security plan.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.