Print This Page
previous section

National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP)

What is it?
The CERFPs and Civil Support Teams (CSTs) provide a phased capability. The CSTs detect and identify CBRNE agents/substances, assess their effects, advise the local authorities on managing response to attacks, and assist with requests for other forces. The CERFPs locate and extract victims from a contaminated environment, perform mass patient/casualty decontamination, and provide treatment as necessary to stabilize patients for evacuation.

What has the Army done?
Unlike the CSTs, which are dedicated units of National Guard personnel on active duty, the CERFPs are composed of existing National Guard units on state active duty, Title 32 or Title X status, and are specially trained to respond to a weapons-of-mass-destruction incident. They must be ready to deploy within six hours of notification. A CERFP consists of a command and control element, an engineer company, a chemical company, an Air National Guard medical group, and an Air National Guard fatality search and recovery element. The search and extraction function is assigned to an Army or Air National Guard engineering unit, the decontamination element is from an Army National Guard chemical company, the medical element is from an Air National Guard medical group, and the fatality search and recovery element is from the Air National Guard. These organizations maintain their original missions but are given additional training and equipment that builds on existing skills to accomplish the CERFP mission.

There are 17 CERFP States: New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Colorado, California, Texas, Illinois, Missouri, Florida, Hawaii, Washington, Virginia, Ohio, Georgia, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

The CERFPs are currently assigned with at least one CERFP in each of the ten Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regions. There are three CERPF's in regions III & V (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, and Minnesota) to provide coverage for high population density in the North/Northeast and National Capital Region (NCR) support. There are two in region IX (Hawaii & California) based on population density and geographic location and two in regions IV & VII (Georgia, Florida, Nebraska, Missouri) to support Southeast population density and provide capability to leverage in the event of a catastrophe such as Hurricane Katrina. Redundant CERFPs, a total of 17, ensure capability is available for each FEMA region which mitigates risk associated with military force generation models.

In addition to their organic military equipment, CERFPs are issued state of the art specialized commercial off-the-shelf equipment that meets National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and Occupational Safety & Health Administration standards. The CERFPs are trained to operate within the National Incident Management System.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff validated the CERFP as a Joint capability on August 17, 2007. Each CERFP is required to complete two collective exercises per year. This on-going program of preparedness requires that each CERFP maintains the expertise and readiness required for a quick and effective response to any catastrophic event.

Why is this important to the Army?
The CERFPs are a key element of the Department of Defense's overall program to provide support to civil authorities in the event of an incident involving weapons of mass destruction in the United States. They are designed to fill the 6 to 72 hour gap in our Nation's ability to provide mass casualty patient decontamination, medical triage, and treatment and extraction from a contaminated environment.

previous section

Back to Top :: Print Version
Questions about Army Posture Statement: