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Homeland Security

Chapter V


1. Background

Recovery, transition, and redeployment operations start when civil authorities or other designated agencies relieve the JTF commander of selected CM tasks. The operational duration of the response mission is determined by the requirements established by the appropriate authority (the LFA for domestic operations or the HN/DOS for foreign operations). There is not an established timetable. A transition plan is implemented and CM tasks are transferred from the JTF commander to the appropriate civil authorities (i.e., the DOS, FEMA) commensurate with their ability to continue to conduct operations. NGOs and/or contracted services may augment these civil authorities. Upon completion of the required recovery support, the JTF commander executes transition and redeploys.

2. Recovery Operations

a. Start the Recovery Phase. The recovery phase begins when the immediate hazards are contained or controlled to the point that military assets are replaced or are no longer needed. During the recovery phase, emergency-response elements initiate the action to restore conditions at and in the vicinity of the incident site to a technically feasible and acceptable state. During the recovery phase, the response commander will facilitate the orderly transition of C2 and conduct the withdrawal of military forces from the incident site when the capabilities and services of the response elements are no longer required.

b. Develop and Implement a Mission-Recovery Plan. This plan must be coordinated with civil authorities to determine the requirements. Clearly defined goals and objectives ensure that tasks between civil authorities and JTF commanders are understood and completed. Top priorities are reestablishing mission capability, developing a plan to cover short- and long-term recovery requirements, and returning to normal operations. Special consideration is given to minimizing and mitigating environmental damage. The mission-recovery plan can address the following areas:

(1) Logistical support and resupply.

(2) Force protection.

(3) Documentation and reporting requirements, to include resource expenditures, losses, and environmental-exposure data that is necessary to estimate exposure (to determine long-term and short-term health effects).

(4) Decontamination.

(5) Environmental considerations to prevent pollution and restore the area.

(6) Medical issues to include:

  • Personal protection.

  • Casualty-handling operations.

  • Medical screening and documentation and critical-incident stress management.

  • PA activities.

  • Liaison with federal, state, local, and HN officials as required.

3. Transition

a. Transition in CM operations involves the transfer of responsibilities and functions to other organizations. Transition occurs between units, to the civil authorities, or to local or HN agencies. Transition and/or termination is initiated once objectives are met and authority is given from national decision makers.

b. If DOD forces are transitioning functions between units, then the transition requirements follow standard military handover procedures. If transition involves the transfer of DOD forces' functions or areas to the civil authorities or to local or HN agencies, then the mechanics of the transition will reflect operational procedures and existing agreements.

c. A transition plan helps the staff identify transition issues in relation to the desired or projected end state. It is especially important to identify those parties or agencies that will receive functional responsibilities from the JTF commander. Considerations include which staff sections will write annexes, based on what the transitioning organization will do. The transition plan should identify organization, operating procedures, and transition recommendations and considerations. When implementing the transition plan, the transitioning parties should discuss criteria for transferring operations. The plan should be unclassified, clear, and concise—using terminology appropriate to all parties.

(1) Transitioning may be by function or by specific areas of the incident site. The transition process should be event-driven and not tied to calendar dates. Functions or areas transfer only when a similar capability becomes available or is no longer needed. Procedures for the transfer of equipment or supplies—either between DOD units, to civil authorities, or to local or HN agencies—must be established according to regulation and command guidance.

(2) Planners identify other key transition factors within functional areas that may include logistics, medical services, communications, security, and technical services. Planners should develop a series of transition criteria to monitor progress; the important part of choosing indicators is to have a consistent method by which to measure progress during the transition.

4. Redeployment

a. Simultaneous with deployment, the JTF commander begins planning redeployment. Redeployment decisions are based on civil and military considerations. Redeployment begins as soon as objectives are accomplished or the need for military forces diminishes. Redeployment planning should follow normal guidelines and protocols. Careful consideration should be given to what physical assets can be safely removed from the incident and which should be contained or controlled and whether or not it should be left at the incident site.

b. Redeployment includes the use of the AAR process to help evaluate mission and task performance. The AAR addresses the following:

(1) What was the original mission? How was it stated, and how was it interpreted at the various levels of command?

(2) What should have happened (e.g., the mission or plan)? What actually happened (e.g., a description of the event)?

(3) How it happened (e.g., key facts that led up to the event)?

(4) Why it happened (e.g., inferences about probable causes)?

(5) How to improve performance next time (e.g., alternative courses of action)?

5. Documentation

During a response, incoming/outgoing data (questions and responses) should be captured and archived so that when personnel review the data later, they can be confident that it is complete and accurate.

a. After conducting a response mission, the JTF addresses two areas: documenting lessons learned and identifying what can be termed as after-operation follow-up. Key areas of documentation include personnel and equipment expenditures or costs, incident event logs, and medical documentation for response personnel.

b. Lessons learned should be collected and then consolidated in the Joint Universal Lessons Learned System (JULLS) format, if possible, or through individual service systems such as the US Army's Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL).

c. It is in the postemergency period that documentation of the incident occurs. Actions that occurred during the notification, response, and recovery phases will be critical to providing answers to the questions that will be asked (i.e., in areas such as fiscal/resource management, medical surveillance, medical treatment, mortuary).

d. Accurate record keeping also addresses the monitoring of DOD response-element personnel for long-term health problems that could be incident related.

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