Joint Task Force - Olympics (JTF-O)

Following the end of the XIX Winter Olympic Games and VII Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002, Joint Task Force - Olympics (JTF-O) was diestablished.

The Department of Defense was been authorized to provide support to the XIX Winter Olympic Games, to occur between 8 and 24 February 2002, and the VII Paralympic Games, to occur between 7 and 17 March 2002. Both of these events were to take place in in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a result, US Joint Force Command (USJFCOM) established Joint Task Force - Olympics (JTF-O) in January 2001.

Title 10, United States Code, Section 2564, authorizes the Department of Defense support to civilian sporting competitions such as the Olympics, provided the attorney general certified that the support was necessary to meet essential security and safety needs of the event. The attorney general certified DoD's support to the Olympics. Further, the US attorney general and the secretary of the treasury designated the winter games a national special security event. Civilian and federal law enforcement agencies, which were responsible for security, as well with the Olympic organizing committees, requested DoD support during the games, since the requirements for security, logistics and support exceed their capabilities and/or resources.

JTF-O planned, coordinated, and executed approved routine Department of Defense support to the XIX Olympic Winter Games and the VII Winter Paralympics. The 5 areas of routine support provided by JTF-O included: aviation, communications, explosive ordnance detection/disposal, physical security, and temporary facilities. The JTF-O also provided command and control, coordination, and integration of all Department of Defense units, resources, and assets specifically engaged in routine support of the Games. The Department of Defense budget for the Salt Lake City Olympics was about $60 million.

Approximately 4,500 Department of Defenese servicemembers, from the National Guard, reserve and active forces, were to provide various levels of support to the 2002 winter games, including athletes, ceremonial military bands, honor guards, explosive detection dog teams, communications, transportation and other logistic and security support. National Guard units representing 22 different states would deploy to the area, not including Department of Defense athletes who are participating in the Olympic competition. Additionally, various military bands would provide free public concerts at local community and Olympic-related venues.

All assistance provided by the DoD would be in support of local and federal agencies. The attorney general of the United States, acting through the FBI, maintained the responsibility for managing the federal response to acts of terrorism in the United States. The Department of Defense would provide support to the lead federal agency, the FBI, as requested. The commander of JTF-O, would receive and evaluate incoming requests for support, screen the requests under established policy and guidelines, and coordinate non-routine support requests through the director of military support to the secretary of the Army. Requests for ceremonial or community relations support was staffed to, and approved by, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. Aviation support was provided for the transportation of emergency, tactical and support personnel and equipment within the joint operations area. The support would be provided by HH-60 Pavelow, UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters from the reserve and National Guard.

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