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Joint Task Force Civil Support

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What is it?

Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) anticipates, plans and prepares for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) response operations, focusing on strengthening alliances and developing new partners as it trains for time-critical support operations. The unit commands and controls more than 5,000 personnel in the Defense CBRN Response Force (DCRF) to save lives, prevent further injury, and enable community recovery after a catastrophic CBRN incident.

JTF-CS, established in 1999, is the nations’ only standing CBRN joint task force.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

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. This includes training some Soldiers in technical rescue skills at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and equipping the force with civilian protective suits and rescue equipment.

JTF-CS assists with training the DCRF, helping to ensure the ability of the force to conduct its lifesaving mission and coordinate with civilian counterparts like FEMA. Readiness to conduct the no-notice CBRN Response mission is a cornerstone of mission success for the DCRF. JTF-CS’ goal is to build readiness for homeland response and/or for the warfighting mission.

JTF-CS focuses on building unity of effort across local, state, and federal agencies, civilian responders and the DCRF. The Army maintains a focus on assisting stressed first responders to rapidly synchronize the military contribution to the response effort to ensure mission success. This is a response where decisions are made in hours and days versus days and weeks.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

The Soldiers will continue to be trained and equipped to provide life-saving assistance in the event of CBRN disasters in the U.S. There are two annual exercises for JTF-CS and the DCRF:

  • (1) Exercise Sudden Response/Determined Response, a command post exercise (CPX) that sustains the mission command skills of JTF-CS and the DCRF.
  • (2) Exercise Vibrant Response/Guardian Response, a combined CPX and field training exercise which validates the ability of the DCRF forces to conduct the CBRN Response mission.

Why is this important to the Army?

Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) and CBRN Response are primary missions that rely on the ability of JTF-CS and the DCRF to rapidly contribute to a whole of government response. Exposing Soldiers to interactions with potential partners during training creates a valuable resource that can save time in a response. Overall, preparation of a joint force, that spans 88 different military units located at more than 36 locations throughout the U.S., maximizes mission readiness and capability.


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Focus Quote for the Day

If there are opportunities to support other elements of the Defense Department in crisis response, we will always do that.

- Maj. Gen. Bill Hall, commander, Joint Task Force Civil Support, highlights Joint Task Force Civil Support’s role, as the nations’ only standing CBRN joint task force, is to support civilian authorities with any crisis response - natural or man-made.

Eustis-based task force gets new commander