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News | March 20, 2018

Task Force speaks to CBRNE Community at Symposium

By U.S. Air Force Lt Col Karen Roganov Joint Task Force Civil Support

Responding to a crisis is inherently complex, so responders of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear community come together at different venues to discuss such challenges and ways to overcome them.


One such event was the 6th Annual Joint Civil & DoD CBRN Symposium held March 5-6, 2018 at the Mary M. Gates Learning Center in Alexandria, Va.


“We are looking for ways to reduce complexity in the CBRN response,” said U.S. Army Col Eric Oh, Director for the Operations at Joint Task Force Civil Support located at Fort Eustis. “That’s where we need your ideas and expertise.”


Oh spoke with some of the 160 participants attending from the Department of Homeland Security; FEMA; the Department of State; U.S. Secret Service; law enforcement agencies; the National Guard; various organizations from the Depart of Defense; other interagency organizations; academia and industry.


Oh acknowledged a response to a catastrophic CBRN incident in the United States would take a whole-of-nation approach.


In addition to reducing complexities, Oh relayed that fully understanding the problems facing the response and what capabilities are available is essential as JTF-CS would take command of about 5,200 Federal responders across the country if ever called upon by the nation to support a lead federal agency and local civil incident commander.


The Defense Strategies Institute organized the event.


“We are enthused to have a full spectrum of viewpoints here to discuss the critical initiatives in the CBRN enterprise,” said Jonathan Sanders, program director for DSI.


Between guest speaker presentations, participants navigated the learning center display area to talk with experts displaying technologies such as earthquake sensors; CBRN detection kits, advanced respirators for search and rescue and other response aides.