Homeland defense expert assumes command of Fort Eustis, Va. - based Joint Task Force Civil Support
FORT EUSTIS, Va. The first federalized Air National Guardsman to command Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS)
relinquished command today to a Pentagon-based homeland security expert.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Jonathan T. Treacy relinquished command of JTF-CS during a ceremony here to U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeff W. Mathis
III, who most recently was assigned as the Pentagon-based deputy director for Antiterrorism and Homeland Defense, the Joint Staff.
JTF-CS is the only standing federal chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response joint task force in the U.S. When directed,
JTF-CS provides command and control of 5,200 federal military forces-known as the Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear
Response Force-located at more than 36 locations throughout the U.S.
Treacy leaves JTF-CS after two years at the helm. The ceremony's presiding official, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV,
commander of the Fort Sam Houston, Texas-based U.S. Army North, praised Treacy's leadership as central to the joint task force's ability
to plan and respond rapidly during U.S. assistance to Japanese relief efforts following last year's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power
JTF-CS dispatched a team of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear planners and other subject matter experts to assist U.S.
Pacific Command's efforts in support of the Japanese government.
"In the aftermath of the horrible earthquake, tsunami and eventual nuclear disaster at Fukushima, you were ready, even though you
were still busy with a field (training) exercise," said Caldwell.
Caldwell also praised Treacy and the staff of JTF-CS for oversight of adding more life-saving capabilities and more than 1,200
emergency response personnel to the Response Force.
Under Treacy's command, JTF-CS streamlined the Response Force into deployable force packages designed to respond within set time
periods following a catastrophic chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident. The first force package, designed to respond
to an incident within 24 hours of activation, is front loaded with various life-saving military assets, such as search and rescue and
emergency medical treatment personnel and equipment. Follow on forces provide more long-term logistical, engineer and medical support.
These forces, made up of military units from all branches of service, must be able to integrate with not only National Guard units, but
civilian Federal, state and local responders as well.
"He understands the key role this organization contributes to homeland defense, and has so structured his team to provide the optimal
support," said Caldwell.
Most recently, the joint task force oversaw more than six hours of aerial surveillance missions last August as part of the Federal
response to Hurricane Irene, which wrought flooding and damage throughout the U.S. eastern seaboard. That effort allowed emergency
response leaders from both North Carolina and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to obtain a bird's eye view of Irene-induced damage.
The FEMA Region IV response division director characterized that support as "extremely professional, supportive and timely."
"We've able to get there faster, and we're able to be very decisive in how we integrate with those forces and responders already on
site at the incident," Treacy said, who took command of JTF-CS in July 2010.
He attributes the joint task force's successes and increased ability to support Americans in their "greatest time of need" to the
"professionalism and excellence" of the command's more than 160 service members and civilian staff and the more than 5,200 personnel who
comprise the Response Force.
During the ceremony, Treacy passed the command flag to Caldwell, who passed the flag to Mathis-a ceremonial gesture symbolizing the
transfer of command and authority of the 13-year-old JTF-CS from Treacy to Mathis.
Mathis has a variety of homeland defense and response experience. In his Pentagon assignment - a position Treacy held prior to
taking command of JTF-CS - he directed three divisions and led more than 65 Joint Staff officers, non-commissioned officers and
civilians in the planning and support of worldwide anti-terrorism and force protection. He also served as the primary advisor to
the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for all anti-terrorism, force protection, homeland defense and defense support to civil
authorities. The 36-year career soldier also previously served as the director, Joint Staff, Washington Joint Force Headquarters as
well as commander of Operational Joint Task Force for Domestic Operations in Washington and Federal Emergency Management Agency
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