Eight regional homeland response force units announced

The Department of Defense and the National Guard Bureau recently announced that eight more regional homeland response force units will be created in the 2012 fiscal year.

According to the American Forces Press Service, the new units will be formed as part of a restructuring of the U.S. chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive response enterprise.

The eight new units will join two others based in Ohio and Washington state, whose formation was announced on June 3. One unit will be based in each of ten Federal Emergency Management Agency regions. In addition to Ohio and Washington, units will be located in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, Utah and California.

The new units will be expected to reach the site of an emergency within 12 hours, crossing state borders if necessary. Each unit will consist of at least 570 guardsmen, including a medical team, a search and extraction team, a decontamination team and a command and control element. When not deployed, the personnel from each unit will continue to train, plan and exercise on a regional level.

The Defense Department CBRNE consequence management enterprise, of which these units are considered the key element, will also include a defense CBRN Response Force, two consequence management command and control sections, 57 weapons of mass destruction civil support teams and 17 CBRNE-enhanced response force packages.