NCR leaders discuss area security
November 30, 2010
Current threats to the national capital region and their countermeasures were among the items discussed at the quarterly Joint Force Headquarters National Capitol Region Commander's Conference held at Marine Corps Base Quantico Nov. 23.
The protection of the District of Columbia and neighboring counties and cities of Maryland and Virginia, including Loudon, Fairfax and Prince William Counties, are the responsibility of JFHQ NCR. The unit draws from existing resources of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and NORAD into a single-point headquarters for planning, coordination and execution of the mission in the area.
A large number of topics were covered during the conference. Tim Lawlor, a supervisory special agent for NCIS Quantico, discussed their ongoing investigation with shots fired at buildings such as the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Pentagon in October.
Beverly Pritchett, the senior director of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Administration, spoke how her organization would respond to threats such as smallpox, anthrax and the plague. She spoke about the counter-medicines HEPRA has, but also the problems that come with distributing them in a crisis situation.
Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs always best to discuss these issues ahead of time, so we are on the same page,Aca,!A? said Maj. Gen. Errol Schwartz, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard. Aca,!A"For example, we were talking about the distribution of meds. Some people werenAca,!a,,ct in D.C. when 9/11 was around, so they donAca,!a,,ct know about the chaos that was going on here. The roads were gridlocked and cell phones were down. We can use that experience and share it with others here to form a plan if another crisis occurs in the area. WeAca,!a,,cre forming ideas for rallying points and areas for landing zones. All this preparation work is crucial.Aca,!A?
Other topics included the capabilities of the Virginia Defense Force, as well as plans for future JFHQ NCR operations, such as supporting the 2011 State of the Union address.
The conference ended with a commander crosstalk where open discussion was welcome.
According to Maj. Gen Karl R. Horst, the JFHQ NCR commanding general, continued conversations on interoperability is always of benefit to such a large and diverse area as the NCR. Aca,!A"We need to have situational awareness of what other leaderAca,!a,,cs plans are, so we can adjust how we can work with them and how we can help them,Aca,!A? said Horst.