FORT EUSTIS, Va. –
Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) held a tent exercise Feb. 14 at its command and control building on Fort Eustis. The exercise served to test the five new tents JTF-CS recently ordered.
"The new tents will be replacing the previous shelters the command used," said Tim Collins, deputy director of the joint logistics operations center, JTF-CS. "These new tents will allow us to set up and be able to respond at a much faster pace than we've previously been able to do."
Collins is in charge of coordinating and executing all logistics functions to support both JTF-CS and the Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Force.
JTF-CS has been looking into purchasing the new tents for over a year. During that time, JTF-CS hosted two separate demos and analyzed the benefits.
JTF-CS is always looking for the most up-to-date equipment to help get the job done. As the first and only command tasked with handling command and control functions during a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attack, JTF-CS must be able to operate at a moment's notice twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Chief Damage Controlman Benjamin Allen, the leading non-commissioned officer for the Joint Operations Center (JOC) at JTF-CS, is responsible for managing all JOC operations during an incident. This includes the proper maintenance and deployment of JOC equipment.
The new tents exceed our deployment requirements, said Allen.
Allen said the new tents utilize air compressors to fill "ribs" that run along the inside of the tent. As they fill up with air, the ribs become solid masses, raising the tent as they expand. This removes much of the manual labor.
"Once the tents are in place, the process of setting them up is virtually hands-free," said Allen.
During the tent exercise on Feb. 14, JTF-CS set up one of the new tents in order to become more familiar with the process. The tents are intended to deploy with the Early Entry Command Post to rapidly establish the tactical command post.
The use of these new tents will save time during a real incident, allowing members to pursue other tasks and responsibilities. This will improve the efficiency of the task force, allowing JTF-CS to help save more lives, prevent more injuries and further help civil services with response and recovery efforts.