News | Nov. 21, 2019

Joint Task Force Civil Support ensures CBRN response readiness

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

Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) conducted a communications exercise at Training Area 18 on Joint Base Langley-Eustis 20 November, 2019, to ensure the command’s ability to respond within hours to a chemical biological radiological or nuclear disaster anywhere in the United States.

The exercise tested the command’s early-entry command post’s (EECP) ability to quickly deploy in the event of a catastrophic event, connect and validate JTF-CS’s online collaborative tools and equipment while away from the command’s headquarters, and train new personnel on the process and procedure of standing up the EECP.

The exercise started with the deployment of two Drash air beam shelters, headed by JTF-CS’s operations directorate. This evolution included training on the different components of the shelters, operating the generators and laying out tables, chairs and other equipment according to the established floorplan.

 “Within these interdependent tasks are dozens of small, yet important, details that only reveal themselves in the course of execution,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Donald Thompson, the current operations division chief at JTF-CS, who supervised the deployment of the air beam shelters and EECP. “These details represent points of friction in successful mission accomplishment. This exercise, and other similar exercises, reduce some of the friction inherent to what JTF-CS can expect in its mission.”

At the same time, the command’s communications directorate established network connectivity with JTF-CS headquarters. Once both of these phases were complete, personnel began connecting to and validating all of the command’s online collaborative tools. These tools included the Web-based Emergency Operations Center (WebEOC), the document management and storage system Sharepoint, and Webmail.

 “This exercise is vital to our communications qualification training,” said Rick George, deputy director for JTF-CS’s communications directorate. “Opportunities like this give both our seasoned and newly hired technicians the opportunity to apply skills and principles we train on while in garrison.”

At the direction of U.S. Army North and U.S. Northern Command, 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.