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FACTSHEET | Oct. 25, 2022

JTF-CS Command History

1999: JTF-CS was created by mandate of Congress by the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act and established at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia and assigned to U.S. Joint Forces Command.

2001:  JTF-CS relocated to Fort Monroe, Virginia.

October 2002: JTF-CS reassigned from U.S. Joint Forces Command to U.S. Northern Command.

August 2005: JTF-CS deployed an enhanced Joint Planning Augmentation Cell (JPAC) to support 1st U.S. Army in the planning and execution of consequence management in the State of Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

February 2008: JTF-CS deployed 26 personnel to Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst, New Jersey as a consequence management command and control element in support of Operation Burnt Frost (interception and destruction of a non-functioning U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) satellite). The element provided Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) consequence management expertise with the lead DOD element (USSTRATCOM).

October 2008: CDRUSNORTHCOM reassigned OPCON of JTF-CS to U.S. Army North (JFLCC); aligns both missions to land domain/reduces CCDR span of control.

March 2011: Elements of JTF-CS supported U.S. Pacific Command during Operation Tomodachi in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, Japan and in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster crises. JTF-CS provided U.S. Forces Japan with a Joint Planning Augmentation Cell and subject matter experts. Furthermore, one Incident Response Force deployed from the Marine Corps CBRN Incident Response Force (CBIRF). The support provided assisted U.S. Forces Japan JTF-519, and the Japanese military, to conduct CBRN consequence management planning in the aftermath of a monumental disaster.

July 2011: JTF-CS relocated to Fort Eustis, Virginia.

August 2011: JTF-CS deployed 54 personnel and oversaw aerial surveillance missions as part of the federal response to Hurricane Irene, which wrought flooding and damage throughout the U.S. eastern seaboard. The flights allowed FEMA and North Carolina State authorities to quickly survey the damage and put response plans into action to help the region recover.

October-November 2012: As “Super Storm” Sandy wrought havoc across the U.S. eastern seaboard, JTF-CS deployed to New Jersey to coordinate response efforts for 1,967 military responders. JTF-CS provided support to civil authorities, and coordinated and synchronized Title 10 response efforts, while working with the Dual-Status Commanders in New York and New Jersey.

2019: JTF-CS participated in North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command’s exercise Ardent Sentry (AS-19), which took place June 3-7, 2019 and focused on a complex catastrophic earthquake along the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) as part of Defense Support of Civil Authorities.

This exercise marked the beginning of JTF-CS’ transformation from being the nation’s only standing CBRN joint task force to a ready and capable all-hazards DSCA response force.

The NMSZ exercise planning scenario was based on a 7.0 earthquake or higher including after-shocks, occurring in winter months affecting 12-million people in up to 200 cities. It involved coordination between JTF-CS and four FEMA regions and eight states.

2019: On October 1, 2019, JTF-CS celebrated its 20-year anniversary. The origin of JTF-CS can be traced back to a book that President Bill Clinton read called The Cobra Event. The book presents a National Planning Scenario type event centered on a biological weapon and the government’s effort to stop the outbreak.  After reading The Cobra Event, President Clinton inquired with his staff how the U.S. would respond.  Unfortunately, he learned that there really wasn’t a plan or unit to respond to such a scenario.  Realizing a capability gap existed within the U.S., the federal government worked together to create a response plan to synchronize a federal, civilian and military response.  On September 30th 1998 an Implementation Study resulted in the Chairman directing the Joint Staff to establish a standing JTF for Civil Support. The SECDEF notified the President that on October 1st 1999, he would establish a “standing” Joint Task Force for Civil Support and JTF-CS was born.

March-June of 2020: From late March through early June of 2020, JTF-CS led more than 2,700 service members deployed from across the country as Task Force Northeast and Task Force New York/New Jersey to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the command of U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Army North, JTF-CS supported lifesaving and life-sustaining efforts at Javits New York Medical Station, 11 New York City hospitals, two field medical stations and three hospitals in New Jersey. The forces under the command and control of JTF-CS increased civilian healthcare systems’ medical capabilities throughout the region, thus helping to save the lives of thousands of Americans. In addition, the command further supported the state of New York by assisting with the dignified transfer of the remains of fellow citizens who had passed from the effects of COVID-19.

February - June 2021: Federal Vaccination Response (COVID II): JTF-CS returned to the COVID-19 fight in early 2021 as part of the country’s effort to vaccinate millions of Americans.

The command initially returned to the New Jersey and New York areas, where it provided command and control of service members supporting community vaccine centers (CVCs) on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These first CVCs in New Jersey were relatively small sites and targeted support to underserved communities with up to 250 vaccinations a day. Soon, with the vaccine becoming available in ever greater amounts, JTF-CS supported the establishment of additional CVCs in the Queens and Brooklyn boroughs of New York, and later Philadelphia, as part of the whole-of-government effort. These larger sites were capable of providing 3,000 to 6,000 vaccines a day. Over a five-month period, JTF-CS provided command and control, and direct liaison support to 22 CVCs in 14 different states and territories. The command led more than 2,584 service members who were directly involved in either administering vaccines or providing operational support at the CVCs. Ultimately, JTF-CS would help more than 1.87 million community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in an area stretching from New England to Atlanta and as far as west to Milwaukee.

August 2021 – March 2022 COVID (III): On August 6, 2021, JTF-CS received orders from U.S. Army North for, "Enabling support for COVID hospital efforts." JTF-CS began establishing military medical response teams (MRT) within states requesting support from the federal government. The MRT’s primary mission was to support overwhelmed hospitals during state and regional COVID surges. Initially supporting MRTs in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, JTF-CS supported the MRTs via a headquarters echelon construct using small but highly capable incident support teams (ISTs). The ISTs provided onsite support during initial unit deployments, including a stay-behind element, with a liaison officer to provide on-call, direct support to dual status commanders (DSC) and MRTs. MRT support continued through the Delta and Omicron COVID-19 variant surges in November and December of 2021. On December 2, President Joseph R. Biden, in response to the Omicron variant surge, reinforced the initial DOD Title 10 support of approximately 500 medical personnel with an additional 1,000 DOD medical professionals from Army, Navy, and Air Force units. During this third wave of DOD COVID support, JTF-CS provided C2 support to 56 MRT sites, employed in 25 states, across 5 FEMA regions with 14 dual status commanders (DSCs). In total, these MRTs provided more than 275,000 clinical hours in support of civilian hospitals nationwide. The operational area of this support mission extended across all four time zones of the Continental U.S. and more than 2.3 million square miles.

All-hazards Mission Scope: Joint Task Force Civil Support’s mission scope has broadened from the single-mission priority of CBRN response to CBRN preparedness as the number one priority with the additional task to operate as an all-hazards DSCA headquarters. JTF-CS is a flexible, agile, and responsive headquarters that can command and control a Title-10 CBRN/All-Hazards DSCA response option in support of any lead federal agency through the supported joint force commander. On order, Joint Task Force Civil Support conducts chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear response and all-hazards defense support of civil authorities operations in support of the lead federal agency in order to save lives, mitigate human suffering and prevent further injury.

Looking Forward: As today’s world rapidly evolves, Joint Task Force Civil Support remains a reliable source of support for the American people. The command is constantly prepared to deploy to support civil authorities within hours of higher headquarters direction. JTF-CS is committed, postured, trained and ready to respond whenever our Nation calls, regardless of the nature of the disaster. While we hope the need never arises, JTF-CS and the Defense CBRN Response Force are ready to serve the American people with the Right Force, the Right Response and the Right Expertise. We are JTF-CS and we are always ready.