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News | June 6, 2017

Vibrant Response 17: What You Need to Know

By MC2 Benjamin Liston Joint Task Force Civil Support

FORT EUSTIS, VA – Joint Task Force Civil Support recently finished exercise Vibrant Response 17 (VR17) at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center, Indiana, from April 24-30, 2017.

Vibrant Response is an annual training exercise conducted by the U.S. Northern Command and led by U.S. Army North, testing the capabilities of JTF-CS and other DOD unit’s ability to respond on short notice to a natural or man-made disaster. The exercise tested 119 different units working together across seven different exercises, including Vibrant Response, a command post exercise (CPX) for JTF-CS, and Guardian Response, a field training exercise (FTX) for the Defense CBRN Response Force (DCRF).

Vibrant Response and Guardian Response both focused on a notional 10-kiloton nuclear device being detonated in New York City. The scenario allowed the DCRF to train in Mass Casualty Decontamination, Urban Search & Rescue, and other life-saving missions.

“We have to provide the right force with the right response and the right experience. If we use, God forbid, the worst possible scenario, then it helps us get after all those slower developing scenarios that we respond to,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Gallant, commander, JTF-CS. “We are in support of the first responders and we provide the capability that can augment their operations.”

This year’s exercise involved 5,010 personnel from the DCRF and involved multiple units communicating with each other across exercises that played into the same scenario.

During the exercise, we were able to train and identify areas we need to work on and practice on tasks that we do well, said Gallant.

JTF-CS operated in multiple locations including teams in Albany, New York, Trenton, New Jersey and Camp Atterbury , Indiana that helped coordinate some of the federal response for local and state entities, and integrated the DoD portion of the response, said Stan Bacon, JTF-CS deputy for plans, policy and interagency coordination.

Bacon said in an interview that it was a great opportunity for the whole of community and government to help solve a common problem. It gave a chance for the different agencies to talk to each other, find out creative ways to help them overcome the effects on the population.

The CPX had JTF-CS directing the DCRF during the FTX that was taking place at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Indiana.

JTF-CS deals in very complex scenarios involving the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) field. We will continue to work with them to develop and mature for future scenarios, said Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, U.S. Army North commander.

JTF-CS members and integrated personnel provided 24-hour operational coverage during the exercise and command and control functions for the DCRF.

“We are all about getting faster and lighter,” said Gallant. “This mission is all about saving lives, and exercises like this allow to practice and see what we need to work on.”

For additional information on JTF-CS, visit us online at: or