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Joint Task Force Civil Support celebrates 20th anniversary

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

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Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) celebrated its 20th birthday with a leadership symposium at its headquarters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Oct. 3. 

This year’s celebration was themed “Twenty years of being ever vigilant and always ready,” and featured three key-leadership question and answer panels, an executive luncheon, the dedication of the command’s decision support center, and a cake cutting ceremony. 

The leadership symposium was attended by leaders from U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and U.S. Army North (ARNORTH), Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Force (DCRF) unit commanders and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regional leaders, as well as prior JTF-CS leaders and alumni. 

The panels allowed leaders from JTF-CS and other major federal and civil organizations to collaborate and discuss topics like resourcing and execution opportunities during a CBRN response. They also discussed friction points between the different phases of response, according to Lt. Col. James Mitchell, future operations planner at JTF-CS, and also one of the coordinators for the day’s events.

The celebration and leadership symposium also served to increase understanding of the JTF-CS mission and influence of the command within the NORTHCOM area of responsibility. It also allowed key leaders to connect and form important relationships, promoting communication and teamwork during a catastrophic natural or man-made event.

The command’s decision support center (DSC) was dedicated to the late U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Mathis III, who served as the command’s commanding general from July of 2012 to July of 2014, during a ceremony with his wife Christine. 

“I am very honored that you all have done this, and I know that he would be too,” said Mathis.

The day’s events concluded with a formal birthday celebration, including a recap video of events from the past 20 years, a speech from JTF-CS Commanding General Maj. Gen. William Hall, and a cake cutting ceremony. 

 “Since my change of command, I’ve been humbled by the spirit and character of the phenomenal team here who contribute each day to being ever vigilant and always ready,” said Hall during his closing remarks.  

Established Oct. 1, 1999, JTF-CS is the only standing joint task force charged with providing command and control for CBRN response missions in the United States and its territories and possessions. At the direction of ARNORTH and NORTHCOM, JTF-CS provides military assistance in support of civil authorities by saving lives, preventing further injury and providing temporary critical support to enable community recovery.