FORT EUSTIS, Virginia - Ten Soldiers assigned to the 716th Military Police Battalion (MP Bn.), 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, participated in the Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Force - Joint Operations Center (JOC) at Fort Eustis, Va., Dec. 11-13, 2018.
The DCRF is a DoD capability that provides military resources and manpower to support local, state and federal agencies during disaster or incident relief operations within the United States and its territories.
"This training gives us a great opportunity to train on DCRF operations at the battalion level, which we can use in the future once we assume the mission," said Capt. Brandon Roberts, operation officer, 716th MP Bn.
The three-day course educated and prepared the MP Soldiers about the organization, function and operations of Joint Task Force-Civil Support (JTF-CS), which prepares for an attack or incident within the U.S. involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear materials or events.
The JTC-CS coordinates, plans and trains DoD units who are tasked to support this mission. JTF-CS is assigned to U.S. Northern Command. The commander of U.S. Army North has operational control of JTF-CS.
"When we look at events involving chemical agents and nuclear detonations, we are talking about large scale operations. These operations will require thousands of personnel covering thousands of acres of land. Not to include the populace that may number over 1 million. Any time we can receive training that increases our planning and interoperability we have to seize it," said Roberts.
The training course is part of the 716th MP's effort to prepare for its upcoming mission as the DCRF Task Force starting in June. The U.S. Army provides 73 percent of the Defense CBRN Response Forces and is responsible for manning, training, and equipping DCRF Soldiers for a non-standard lifesaving mission. The agency focuses on providing a unified effort of resources across local, state, and federal entities.
For the 716th MP Bn., this mission falls directly in line with the Army's focus on defense support of civil authorities. Under this particular focus, the DoD focuses on providing support in response to requests or assistance from civil authorities for special events, domestic emergencies, designated law enforcement support, and other domestic activities.
"This battalion is a highly adaptable and expeditious unit that is prepared for mission validation. As we continue to push forward in our training and refine our operations, we will be more than prepared to support our civilian agencies in anyway required," said Maj. Julie V. Austin, executive officer, 716th MP Bn.
The MP Soldiers who attended the training are looking forward to exercising their ability to serve the public, following the ideals of the MP corps.
"The Military Police Corps has made a name for itself in terms of serving the public at large. Performing operations that expands the reach we have to protect the public is nothing short of an honor," said Roberts.