Homeland Defense and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Additional Steps Could Enhance the Effectiveness of the National Guard's Life-Saving Response Forces, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 0B]

"President Obama's Action Plan for Border Security and Economic Competitiveness with Canada The 2010 National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of strengthening our security and resilience at home and building capability to respond to and recover from major chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) incidents. The National Guard has established 17 CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP), which are staffed with National Guard part-time personnel, to provide life-saving capabilities in response to a CBRNE event. The teams are intended to coordinate operations with multiple response partners at the local, state, and federal levels--including Department of Defense (DOD) forces. The National Guard Bureau (NGB) is responsible for managing the CERFP program. GAO [Government Accountability Office] assessed (1) how well CERFPs are prepared to perform their mission and how such readiness is measured and reported; (2) how effectively CERFPs coordinate with incident response partners and how well this is evaluated; and (3) the effectiveness of the CERFPs' command and control framework. GAO reviewed program documentation, surveyed National Guard and emergency management officials from 27 states, observed training exercises, and interviewed DOD, NGB, and CERFP officials. […] GAO recommends that DOD take a number of actions to increase CERFP preparedness, strengthen pre-incident coordination with potential response partners, and ensure the effective command and control of operations involving CERFPs. DOD agreed with the recommendations."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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