Evolving Roles and Missions for the Reserve Components in Responding to Incidents Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction   [open pdf - 17KB]

The U.S. received a wake-up call with the Oklahoma City, World Trade Center, and Khobar Towers bombing incidents. These seminal events spurred Congress and federal, state, and local government agencies to actively assess the nation's readiness to respond to an incident involving a weapon of mass destruction (WMD). The federal government has made WMD consequence management (CM) preparedness one of five major program thrusts associated with countering domestic threats, and the President's budget contains $1.5 billion towards defense against WMD in FY01. Almost 42% ($630M) is dedicated to preparing for and responding to a WMD incident. Within the $630M, $75M is targeted to Reserve Component (RC) integration into this vital area. Early on, the Deputy Secretary of Defense established that Reserve components needed to be fully integrated into the Department's WMD response capabilities. The "Tiger Team Report," Defense Reform Initiative #25, and two Defense Planning Guidance documents have identified roles and missions and funding responsibilities for the RC. Also in January 1998, Defense Reform Initiative #25 requested a DoD plan for integrating the Guard and Reserve into domestic WMD terrorism response. The approved plan leverages unique Guard and Reserve capabilities to improve DoD's ability to plan for and respond to the significant and growing threat posed to the U.S. by WMD. Concurrently, it created a new type of unit (WMD Civil Support Team [CST]) to help fill the existing gaps in civilian response capabilities. The Guard and Reserve share many of the same capabilities, which include aviation operations, search and rescue, engineer operations, transportation, maintenance, law enforcement, fire-fighting, mortuary affairs, explosive ordnance, bridging operations, communications, command and control, medical assets, and chemical capabilities. The WMD CSTs (formally known as Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection [RAID] Teams) were designed to be state assets, operating within federal doctrine, but under the command and control of the state governor and therefore, they are able to respond to a local/state disaster or emergency well before federal response assets could be brought to bear.

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Papers from the Conference on Homeland Protection, October 2000, p.191-197
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