Just got off the phone from the Blogger Round Table in reference the new assignment of forces to Northern Command in response to a Chemical, Radiological, Biological, Nuclear and high yield Explosive (CRBNE) threat. This was a great opportunity for the Army and the community to come together and become informed about something that affects the general public directly. Many times I write about things that only a small percentile will ever feel about or be touched by but this is about the homeland so I feel it is very important to participate in this line of communication.
LTC Cunniff and Col Vogler were the Army representatives from both the Consequence Reponse Force and Northern Command. Openning up with a brillaint briefing was LTC Cunniff that laid out the composition of the three Task Forces that compose his Response Force. The Operational Task Force which will consist of a Brigade Combat Team from an Active Component BCT (the very first fittingly from 3rd Infantry Division who have led on many new battlefields and challenges). There will be an Aviation Task Force that will be utilized to manuever personnel and equipment to the needed response area and a Medical Task Force again from the Active Component that will do the obvious.
Firstly, I wish to comment on the Operational Task Force. This is a Force let there be no doubt, composed of combat trained Soldiers BUT their role is one of SUPPORT to the local authorities. Of course when people think of uniformed Soldiers walking the streets they think about Marshal Law and the legalities of having an armed force domestically. There was a report in Army times that clearly MISUNDERSTOOD the role of "Force". This unit will be there ONLY at the request of the President, Secretary of Defense or Homeland if the situation warrants the SUPPORT of local and state agencies. There won't be a bunch of heavily armed Hoahs fast roping into your back yard. The personnel will be able to assist and support the infrastructure which has so clearly operated with success in the past. I heard the talk of Posse Cuma Status which I am sure I missed spelled but I understand ot be an armed Domestic Force operating as the arm of the Federal Government. The Operational Task Force can provide the manpower, knowledge and trained individuals to exponentionally increase the first responders in a scenario that requires additional manpower. They can also fill the gaps from losses that will most likely be taken in an event of this magnitude. So no fears there WILL NOT be YouTube video of some civilian crying "Don't Taze me Bro" to some Soldier in ACU's.
Secondly, I want to address the Medical Task Force. This is possible the most honorable of professions in the world and the most needed in the case of a Mass Casualty Event. There is a 100% chance that the local hospitals will be overwhelmed and unable to provide the care needed. This force can assume the responsibility of overflow and replace the losses inside the local support structure. This ability to plug the care giver losses is an immediate and much needed portion to any large scale event. We saw this with 9/11 and other events globally. Having a dedicated group of Medical Professionals with an intact support structure is a necessity.
Of Course to move these around you need assets and I am quite sure that even Southwest can't handle that demand right now. The allocation of Aviation assets again covers the need provided by the movement and deployment of other Task Forces as well as compliments the local and state agencies.
This new portion of Northern Command officially exists TODAY, so Happy Birthday. I do know that getting these Task Forces along side our neighbors at the Fire Department and City Commissioners Office will be a challenge as well as getting the General Public not to fear the big helping hand of Uncle Sam. These are challenges that we can help with. I challenge you my readers to become better versed in this because it absolutely can affect you. I am not a doomsday guy or nothing like that but being in places where I have learned that our fan base is not too big it is possible. I for one am happy that we have increased this and I am sure it was a tough sell to get the funding with everything else going on but I will sleep better tonight knowing that I have more coverage than I did last. The pressure from the local first responders can be lightened and an overall better response to GOD WILLING nothing will be there.