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News | July 13, 2018

JTF-CS conducts DRE to test command and family readiness

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Redd, JTF-CS Public Affairs Joint Task Force Civil Support

A Joint Task Force Support (JTF-CS) no-notice Deployment Readiness Exercise (DRE) tested unit and family readiness with a training trip to Richmond, Va., June 26-28.

The DRE tested the command’s ability to react at a moment’s notice in the event of a catastrophic Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear (CBRN) incident.

“A no-notice DRE confirms that we are ready to respond,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brandon Williams, one of the DRE convoy commanders. “It improves our overall readiness posture by stressing the planned processes we have in place and improving on lessons learned.”

During the exercise, JTF-CS convoys traveled from Fort Eustis to Langley Air Force Base. From there they trained on loading and securing vehicles in Boeing C-17 Globemaster III’s, then flew from Langley to Richmond International Airport. After landing they then drove the convoys back to Fort Eustis.

“In order for a successful deployment to happen, there must be an established relationship between JTF-CS and Langley Air Force Base,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. James Brown, JTF-CS Command Senior Enlisted Leader. “This exercise helped build on that relationship, ensuring proper cooperation between the two bases should a real event happen. It also provides Langley Air Force Base the opportunity to test and hone their own plans and procedures.”

The exercise doesn’t only test members of the command. It also tests the preparedness of their family members and the plans they have in place.

“It is imperative and mission critical that if there are discrepancies with family care plans and other issues that may cause delays with responding employees, that these discrepancies be identified during no-notice DREs and not during real world events,” said Brown. “Discrepancies will not be brought to the forefront if employees have three days’ notice.  During real-world deployments, some employees are required a two-hour response.”

For many members of JTF-CS, this exercise represents the first time responding to a no-notice situation, said Williams. These exercises help ensure a safe and efficient evolution, improving the command’s ability to respond to a real-world scenario.

When directed, JTF-CS is ready to respond within 24 hours to provide command and control of 5,200 federal military forces located at more than 36 locations throughout the nation acting in support of civil authority response operations to save lives, prevent further injury, and provide critical support to enable community recover.