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Homeland Security

Chapter III


1. Planning and Response Concept

a. A challenge for commanders conducting CM operations is to adequately protect personnel, materiel, and equipment from an NBC incident. There is a need for a response capability to save lives, contain an incident, and recover to a point that permits operations to resume. Confronting this challenge requires a comprehensive and integrated approach from threat identification to incident response and recovery. This comprehensive planning ensures that measures of effectiveness are considered. These measures serve to provide a tool to help assess when the mission's established end state is met.

b. No single agency at the local, state, federal, or private level possesses the capability and expertise to act unilaterally on many complex issues that may arise in response to threats from NBC accidents or incidents. For example, an act of terrorism, particularly an NBC event directed against a large population center within the US, may produce major consequences that could overwhelm the capabilities of local and state governments. Planning and coordination by local, state, and federal governments must be proactive and should be accomplished before an incident. Deliberate and crisis action planning considerations are discussed in the following paragraphs.

2. Deliberate Planning

a. The deliberate planning process provides for the deployment and employment of apportioned forces and resources that occurs in response to a hypothetical situation. Deliberate planners rely heavily on assumptions regarding the circumstances that will exist when the plan is executed. Well-developed and detailed planning becomes increasingly important when planning for operations in any number of possible locations, facing any number of unknown threats, and coordinating operations with a wide variety of emergency-response forces. To improve coordination and integration with civilian responders, commanders work through the military planning process and maintain awareness of the current threat. Key planning considerations include the following:

(1) Liaison with Civil Authorities. Commanders identify all response agencies within their area of operations (AOs) and coordinate preincident planning, exercise, and training opportunities. All emergency-response teams conduct liaison frequently with their civilian counterparts.

(2) Coordination with Supporting and Supported Military Organizations. Response elements need to be aware of the many DOD agencies that they may have contact with in a response role. Close coordination with reserve-component forces within their respective states, JTF personnel, and any other active emergency response elements (i.e., US Army Technical Escort Unit [TEU]) is required. (See Appendix D for more information on other units.)

(3) Operations in an NBC Environment. There are unique characteristics regarding operations in an NBC environment. When developing plans, response elements account for the challenges inherent in operating within these environments.

(4) Risk Analysis and Vulnerabilities. A risk analysis is a commander's tool for ensuring the safety of his unit while operating in a hazardous or threatening environment. Risk analysis is not meant to replace sound judgment on the part of a commander. A detailed analysis of known threats assists the commander in identifying the level of FP.

b. Military units develop deliberate plans to respond to incidents within their assigned regions. Response plans should be updated regularly and coordinated with the appropriate response agencies in the region. Plans should focus on both the unanticipated event (e.g., Chernobyl-type disaster, nation-state weapons use against its own population) and potential terrorist targets, such as special events, high-profile buildings, medical- and scientific-research centers, and air- and rail-transportation platforms. Response elements also should prioritize planning efforts in coordination with the other response agencies within their region. Planning efforts should be prioritized based on the most likely threats. The following examples indicate specific items that plans could address.

(1) Vulnerability-analysis considerations.

  • Identify sources for threat information, potential targets, and likely threat scenarios (i.e., type of agent; likely number of casualties; identification of high-profile facilities, significant events, and/or adversary's entry denial capabilities and doctrine).

  • Assess possible delivery methods.

  • Obtain detailed maps of the area including imagery and blueprints if available, etc.


Standard military mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear is not effective against some TIM and does not meet civilian requirements for protection. Standard military detectors do not work against many TIM. For more information, see Appendix B.

(2) C2 considerations.

  • Establish C2 relationships.

  • Know the locations of the incident command post (CP) and joint operations center (JOC).

  • Identify critical support facilities and resources and capabilities that could assist in CM.

  • Maintain coordination with civilian agencies.

  • Use liaison officers and execute FP requirements (alert means, evacuation plans, security).

(3) Logistical considerations.

  • Ensure that critical resupply requirements are addressed (e.g., self-contained breathing apparatus [SCBA] refills).

  • Identify primary and alternate transportation routes and staging areas.

  • Ensure maintenance support for military-unit commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) items and anticipate resupply requirements for NBC-related consumables.

(4) Coordination considerations.

  • Maintain current technical reach-back points of contact.

  • Coordinate with civilian authorities to remain aware of applicable emergency-response plans (FEMA, state, local, etc.).

  • Determine augmentation requirements (e.g., liaison, linguist support, and technical medical expertise).

3. Crisis Action Planning

Crisis action planning involves time-sensitive planning for deploying, employing, and sustaining of assigned and allocated forces and resources that occur in response to a situation that may result in actual military operations. For an incident, essential elements of information (EEIs) may include the following:

a. Damage and Injury Profile. Assess the damage and casualty estimates. NBC devices or vectors each present unique considerations that impact CM contingency planning. Planners use available decision support tools to conduct the assessments.

b. Information Management. Timely collection, analysis, reporting and dissemination of information are paramount. Establish measures to coordinate IM activities. Other requirements include IM measures that ensure the following:

(1) Interoperability for reports being submitted to and received from the civilian ICS.

(2) Measures that provide for situational awareness to support the commander and staff (e. g., number of casualties, boundaries of contamination).

c. Containment. Planners receive information where perimeters have been established from the incident commander. The contaminated site should be clearly marked to prevent personnel from mistakenly entering. Personnel who have been in contaminated areas must be identified and requisite actions taken (medical treatment, decontamination, etc.). Site containment also provides for actions to consolidate and confine any contaminated material (water runoff). Personnel exposed during the incident, subsequent cloud passage, or postincident entry into the contaminated area are given a high priority in response actions. This includes responders and other contaminated individuals. Early definition of the perimeter is important so that potentially contaminated people may be identified and measures taken to prevent the contamination of additional people. The potential contamination of critical infrastructure and transportation assets presents a health problem for both responders and bystanders. Procedures to be considered include the following:

(1) Initial monitoring upon arrival to determine preliminary site characterization and personnel contamination.

(2) Procedures to minimize the spread of contamination.

d. Decontamination. Planners identify and understand the casualty, personnel, and equipment decontamination requirements and standards. Coordination is required with local, state, and federal authorities. Resources must be provided that can monitor, detect, and identify the degree and source of contamination. Subject matter experts (SMEs) conduct risk assessments to determine options for the conduct of decontamination and recommend the allocation of necessary resources to support the decontamination process. Safety is a paramount concern in the decontamination planning process to ensure that first responders' exposure is minimized. Control measures are also taken to minimize the exposure to and the spread of any contamination.

(1) Contamination control. Contamination-control measures ensure contamination is not transferred from an area that is already contaminated to an uncontaminated area through the orderly processing of personnel, equipment, and vehicles entering and leaving the contaminated area. The actual amounts of material used for contamination control depend on conditions at the incident site.

(2) Equipment decontamination. Military-specification equipment should be decontaminated according to pertinent military technical publications; however, similar guidelines may not exist for other equipment. Some equipment used by the response force in the contaminated area may remain there for future use and will not require immediate monitoring or decontamination. Some equipment may not be salvageable and will require proper disposal. If civilians in the contaminated area are sent or go to processing points using their own vehicles, the vehicles should be monitored before moving away from the area. All outer surfaces and the air filters may have been contaminated by airborne contamination. Wheel wells, tires, and the rear end may be contaminated from driving across contaminated areas. Unless the windows were down or ventilators open, detectable contamination of the interior is most likely on those surfaces contacted by vehicle occupants (e.g., floorboards, seats).

e. Evacuation. Planners determine if personnel in downwind hazard areas were directed to seek shelter in place or evacuate. This planning is coordinated with local, state, and federal authorities. Specific planning factors include resourcing protective-equipment requirements for large numbers of people and medical support. Personnel or equipment evacuated from a hazard area are checked for the possibility of residual contamination. Contaminated casualties are decontaminated before evacuation to avoid health-care-facility contamination. For example, the presence of a contaminated casualty in a hospital and the passage of chemical vapors throughout a building's ventilation system could close the entire hospital.

f. Medical Requirements. Medical planners need any available epidemiological and diagnostic patterns resulting from the incident. Military medical units can provide either specialized NBC advisory response capabilities or augmentation that can expand existing medical capabilities. This process includes receiving input from first responders reporting information on signs and symptoms from casualties or agent characteristics (i.e., smell/odor). Medical planning addresses preventive medicine (PVNTMED), laboratory services, casualty evacuation, and decontamination, and treatment of casualties.

g. NBC Reconnaissance Measures. Military forces conduct sampling, surveying, and surveillance. Typical military units generally have only basic sampling and detection capabilities. Specialized military units, such as those listed in Appendix D, have more specialized capabilities and may be required to conduct-

(1) Sampling. Units conducting sampling ensure that the chain of custody is maintained, and samples are placed in sealed containers to eliminate the possible spread of any contamination.

(2) Surveying. Surveys determine the presence or absence of contamination. Surveys also determine the type of contamination (i.e., gamma; blood and blister; and etc.) and level or type of contamination (i.e., centigrey [cGy]; persistent and nonpersistent; and etc.) and its' boundaries. Planning also identifies the need for a capability to conduct low-level monitoring (e.g., chemical or radiological) to support CM actions. This type of capability will likely come from specialized response teams including military and/or civilian personnel.

(3) Surveillance. Surveillance supports early warning of a potential hazard (e.g., chemical or biological aerosol). Response elements may be tasked to conduct surveillance of the ambient air to determine the absence or presence of contaminants. The information from the surveillance is used to influence protection and/or support medical-treatment decisions.

h. Weapon Disposition. Determine what type of weapon is involved. If the military is tasked, units are prepared to dispose of the weapon or provide assistance as required to the agency with the task. Planners determine what type of unit is best capable of accomplishing the task.

i. Transition and Disengagement. The termination of military support to civil authorities during a CM operation is a politically sensitive phase requiring detailed planning. The "end state" defining the point at which military forces disengage from the CM operation is based on the policy that the DOD will withdraw from the operation after eliminating the immediate danger of weapon/agent effects, saving lives, and restoring critical services. DOD will generally not remain to conduct site-recovery operations. When it is agreed that local authorities are capable of assuming responsibilities for the remainder of the operation, DOD forces will disengage. This could be phased either by function or area. Development of an exit strategy should begin as soon as possible during the response.

j. Force Protection. FP is a top priority during CM operations; it begins from the time units are alerted to move, involves impacted personnel and evacuees, and does not end until redeployment is complete. The following FP considerations are provided as a guide:

(1) Protection from potential threats. Ensure that proper protective equipment is available to response personnel.

(2) Safety. Safety in training, planning, and operations is crucial to successful operations. On-scene command authorities and response personnel must implement requirements established by the appropriate site safety and health plans.

(3) Security. Security elements protect against all acts designed to, or which may, impair the effectiveness of the military forces. This includes guarding equipment and supplies from loss or damage.

(4) Individual Awareness. Commanders and supervisors stress the significance of hazards and the importance of being aware of what is going on around them.

(5) Health. Take measures to protect personnel from contaminants. This will require avoiding contaminated areas and observing their boundaries. Protection of the response personnel includes proper PVNTMED and mental health considerations.

4. Information Management

a. Civilian and Political Considerations. Operations associated with CM are very sensitive to civilian and political considerations. Planners modify and tailor information activities to meet the unique challenges presented in each operation. Information resources at every echelon are structured to provide support that is proactive, predictive, and flexible. The commander ensures all sources of information are considered and fully involved.

b. Legal Considerations. Support to missions such as DSO is limited to those actions that do not violate existing EXORDs and DOD Service regulations and policies prohibiting intelligence collection on US citizens. Before a plan that uses various information assets and personnel in the DSO arena can be implemented, it must receive thorough legal review and approval from the staff judge advocate (SJA). Imagery, if approved, can provide information concerning the extent of damages and could be useful for operational planning.

c. Information Gathering. Support to CM requires a multidisciplined approach. A single-source approach cannot support all requirements.

(1) EEIs that drive the collection-management process require an understanding of all aspects of the area and its cultures, politics, religion, economics, environment, technology, and other related factors.

(2) CM will likely involve in-depth coordination or interaction with civil authorities and NGOs. The term "information gathering" should be used rather than the term "intelligence." Nonmilitary organizations may resent being considered a source of intelligence. By using the term "information gathering," military forces may be able to foster better communications with other agencies and thereby benefit from their valuable knowledge.

(3) The importance of mapping, charting, and geodesy should not be overlooked. It is essential that maps, charts, and support data (to include datum and coordinate systems) are coordinated in advance.

d. Information Support. Successful support during CM relies on continuous information collection and analysis. The commander's information needs in CM are in some ways more complex than operations in war. Peace operations often require augmentation of the staff, and the supporting commander (e.g., the CINC) normally provides detailed analytical support to the deploying commander through split-based operations. This includes anticipating and initiating collection against long lead-time requirements, synthesizing available information on the AOs, and orchestrating the collection efforts of existing organizations. The degree of support needed depends on the size and sophistication of the deploying unit's staff and should be tailored as the operation develops to ensure seamless support.

(1) Technical Information Support. The provision of technical information about possible agents and weaponized materials, the methods of dissemination, and the impact on targets are essential to planning. This information is required during the conduct of an operation. A responder at an incident site should be able to provide information to technical and scientific agencies and receive further information about the type of device or material found on site.

(2) Remote Information Support. A remote ("reach back") information-collection capability is needed. The JTF must be able to access assets such as national-level scientific support, which could be at a fixed or mobile analytical facility.

e. Information Requirements (IR).

(1) During the initial response phase (that includes predeployment and deployment), IR will be tracked and briefed to the commander. This information provides input to support the commander's situational awareness and to support the decision-making process. IR also focus the staff's efforts, assist in the resource allocation, and assist the staff in making recommendations. Liaison and effective coordination with local, state, and federal agencies assist the commander in gaining required information. The intent of IR is for the commander to have the best available information on activities within the AO.

(2) IR that are significant to emergency-response operations during an NBC or radiological incident include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Threat conditions/situations/capabilities.

  • Determination of FP status and shortfalls.

  • Detailed knowledge of the area.

  • Detailed information on the type of material used. Consider worst and best case scenarios for options. The types of protection possible against such weapon(s), materials, or vectors; their size, weight, description, and capability; and the methods that could neutralize them.

  • Medical facilities or equipment available and shortages of such equipment that could impact on any attempt to neutralize the threat or lessen the consequences. The number of people they can handle and the emergency transportation methods available.

  • Number and location of victims and/or other damage.

  • Description and status of lines of communication (LOC) including major roads, railroads, waterways, ports, and airports.

  • Weather conditions. Refer to meteorological conditions including precipitation, fog, cloud conditions, temperature, relative humidity, prevailing winds, and sunrise/sunset data.

  • Characteristics of physical damage in the specific disaster area.

  • Population of areas such as trailer parks, apartments, and subdivisions. School buildings and warehouses in these areas are excellent candidates for shelter, feeding, and life-support sites.

  • Status of sanitation systems.

  • Relief and drainage systems.

  • Surface materials. Identify the type and the distribution of soils and subsoils in the area and soil trafficability.

  • Sources of all classes of supply needed for critical restoration of normal activities.

  • Availability of civilian engineer equipment and personnel.

5. Toxic Industrial Materials

a. TIM Release. The accidental or deliberate release of TIM could also necessitate a request for support from DOD assets. For example, 40 tons of methyl isocyanate was accidentally released from the Union Carbide Plant at Bhopal, India. According to the BPHDC, 8,000 people were killed in its aftermath and over 500,000 people suffered from injuries. This incident was the result of the release of TIM. TIM are often available in enormous quantities, do not require extensive research, and can be mass-produced. TIM could be released from industrial plants or storage depots through accidental or deliberate damage as a consequence of a strike against a particular facility or as a desperation measure. TIM could also be attractive as improvised weapons and have the potential for inclusion in clandestine weapons programs or contingency plans.

b. Planning for TIM Operations. Before any operation, the response element develops an understanding of the potential hazard from TIM in the area of concern.


See Appendix G for further information on TIM response procedures.

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