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Homeland Security

Appendix H

Command Section

This brief description of the command team outlines selected command team functions during the different phases of CST operations.



H-1. The command team provides C2 of the CST. The command team interfaces with external agencies and organizations central to the accomplishment of the CST mission.

H-2. The command team anticipates and plans for unique challenges of operating in a CBRNE environment and uses RA as a tool for ensuring the safety of the personnel operating in a hazardous or threatening environment.



H-3. In the alert and deploy phases, the command team receives the alert/WO, validates it according to approved state procedures, executes the unit recall, assembles the unit, alerts the reach-back and ILS systems, begins identifying required information, and plans for the deployment.

H-4. In order to expedite the arrival of the CST to the incident site, the commander can deploy an ADVON as soon as possible. The ADVON is a small forward element of the CST that is sent to the incident site ahead of the unit main body.

H-5. Generally, the ADVON (with either the commander or deputy present) performs link up operations with the IC, coordinates site quartering, receives information on the hot zone, conducts site entry planning, and keeps the main body informed of the situation.

H-6. If the ADVON is able to determine that the threatened or suspected incident is a hoax, then the ADVON can advise the commander not to deploy the main body.

H-7. The command section conducts initial mission analysis and develops a measured and appropriate response. The commander coordinates appropriate notifications.



H-8. Upon arrival at the incident site, the CST commander receives the IC's objectives and obtains updated situation information. The command team advises the IC on the CST assets, capabilities, and limitations. Based on this exchange, the commander determines if the CST will accept the mission.

H-9. After accepting the mission, the CST commander employs the unit to execute CST operations. The command section establishes and maintains liaison with the ICP.

H-10. The command team identifies the location for the setup of the team assets.

H-11. The command team issues the commander's guidance, assigns tasks, monitors performance of the CST, and monitors effectiveness of the support plans (such as, Are CST personnel receiving the necessary support from outside agencies?).

H-12. The command team supervises the OPCEN and supervises and approves the updated IAP and site safety plan (SSP). Additionally, the command team coordinates the assigned missions and verifies site setup and operations of support functions (decontamination line, medical screening, etc.).

H-13. The command team exchanges information to support the development of the mission plan. The team identifies and obtains the incident data and information from the IC.

H-14. The command team assists in integrating the CST into the incident response. It also coordinates its effort as part of the overall state and/or DOD response.

H-15. The command team disseminates information, provides mission guidance to the OPCEN, and provides an initial assessment and recommendation. It provides SITREPs to the IC and provides recommendations to the IC on appropriate responses to a CBRNE incident.

H-16. The command team provides information and advice to the IC based on assessment and analysis results and other facts known to them from skills, experience, and knowledge. Recommendations are based on—

    • The identification, classification, and location of CBR and other hazards.
    • Updated downwind hazard predictions and hazard areas based on modeling.

H-17. The command team advises the IC on additional local, state, and federal assets available to assist in mitigating the incident and in developing a framework under which these assets can be integrated at the incident scene.

H-18. When appropriate, the CST plans for reinforcement, replacement, or relief by another CST. Also, when appropriate, it plans for transition from Title 32 to Title 10 status (and back to Title 32 status).

H-19. Redeployment decisions are made in concert with the IC, and the criteria for redeployment should be established by the commander and approved by command channels upon arrival and assessment of the situation. The exit strategy should be measurable, coordinated with the IC, and flexible, as the situation dictates. Redeployment should be conducted systematically, making allowances for cleaning or disposing of contaminated materials and supporting any stay-behind elements that are required to continue CST support to the IC.



H-20. In the postincident phase, the unit redeploys, debriefs operations, performs equipment maintenance and resupply, reconstitutes its operational readiness, and reestablishes its response posture. Commanders must ensure that appropriate AAR, cost reimbursement claims, and closeout reports are submitted.

H-21. The command team oversees and verifies that each team is prepared for follow-on missions.


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