Find a Security Clearance Job!

Homeland Security

Appendix I

Operations Section

The operations section forms the CST OPCEN. The operations section plans, monitors the employment of the unit, and manages the unit mission on behalf of the CO. In order to do this, the operations section—

    • Coordinates the actions of other CST sections and ensures that the CST commander's intent and concept of operations are executed by all elements of the CST.
    • Develops and maintains a common operating picture of both civil and military forces conducting crisis and CM operations.
    • Supports the CST commander in formulating requirements for follow-on support.



I-1. In the preincident phase, the operations team identifies responder agencies within the AO and coordinates for preincident training and exercise opportunities for CST teams. The operations team also coordinates with supporting and supported military organizations, other NG and reserve forces within its area of concern, joint/response task force (RTF) personnel, and other active emergency response elements (such as EOD, Army TEU, CBIRF).

I-2. The team maintains awareness of the many DOD agencies with which they may have contact in a CBRNE response role and maintains close contact with local, state, and federal law enforcement officials. A detailed listing of contacts should be maintained by the operations team to ensure the continuity of operations.

I-3. The CST requests, collects, and assesses all available local, state, and federal plans and directives that involve CBRNE preparedness and response. This information will be used to help ensure that CST needs are met and that interagency unity of effort is achieved.

I-4. The operations section compiles information pertinent in the development of adequate CST response plans for contingency missions (such as operational area information, climate, infrastructure, target vulnerability).

I-5. The operations section tracks the operational readiness of the unit on a day-to-day basis, to include personnel, training, and equipment status.

I-6. During the preincident phase, the operations section also does the following:

    • Ensures that all operations equipment is ready to deploy.
    • Maintains the reach-back database.
    • Maintains the first responder/EOC/EMA database.
    • Maintains the duty rosters and call-up procedures.
    • Updates and loads all modeling information.



I-7. In the alert and deploy phases (following the alert and recall), the operations team maintains accountability for all personnel and initiates an incident log. Closure reports are forwarded to the appropriate HQ.

I-8. The operations team coordinates preparation of the deployment plan, selects the method of deployment, coordinates transportation, selects the route and checkpoints, and establishes the communications frequencies and signals.

I-9. The operations team also monitors the movement of the equipment from the home station to the designated staging area. It ensures that the equipment is packed and loaded according to the load plans, that logistical equipment is properly marked, and that shipping documents are complete.

I-10. The operations section gathers information from the incident scene and prepares assessments. They begin to develop the initial plan for incident support. This may include recommendations to the commander for the appropriate response, which may include the construction and design of ADVON for this incident, or attempting to satisfy the mission requirements without deploying. The operations section identifies and establishes contact with and provides initial information to potential reach-back assets that may be required to mitigate the incident.

I-11. During the alert and deployment phases, the operations section-

    • Prepares operations estimate for the WO.
    • Conducts route planning and prepares route maps.
    • Establishes communications with established IC or his representative.
    • Prepares initial hazard model assessment based on current weather conditions, and updates modeling data as required.
    • Coordinates any required aviation support.
    • Obtains weather updates on the move.
    • Updates hazards and modeling on the move.
    • Passes recommended route changes and the prestaging area to the CST commander/deputy.



I-12. In the response phase, the team arrives at the attack/incident site or staging area, reports as a support asset to the IC or his designated authority, and commences operations.

I-13. Once the location for the CST has been established, the operations team develops and/or updates a site occupation plan. The initial development of a site safety plan and incident action plan occurs in this phase and is updated as necessary throughout the operation.

I-14. The operations team will man the CST OPCEN according to its SOP and begin the process of maintaining SA (such as by initiating and maintaining a situation map sketch, tactical command board). Based on the commander's guidance, the OPCEN may adjust the CCIR.

I-15. The operations team conducts a predictive analysis to estimate vulnerabilities at the incident site and to advise the IC of the results. The operations team collects the necessary information and develops the plan to collect samples for analysis and/or identify unknown substances. This plan will include information on medical surveillance, site safety, decontamination, and communications.

I-16. The operations team ensures that the sample chain of custody is maintained and that its appropriate disposition is coordinated.

I-17. The operations team will maintain reach-back communications links to designated SMEs for advisory, confirmatory, and technical information.

I-18. The OPCEN will collect and analyze information from internal and external sources and is responsible for tracking the location and actions of all CST personnel operating at the incident site. Automation tools are provided to the operations team that can provide initial assessments of the effects or potential impact of agents on public health, property, and the environment.

I-19. The operations team collects information from all sections and develops recommended COAs for the CST commander.

I-20. The operations team updates the unit plans based on feedback from the incident site and from ongoing operations.

I-21. The operations team plans for transition or hand-off operations and procedures. All pertinent information and recommended COAs will be consolidated and presented to the CST commander for review and submission to the IC prior to the termination of the operation. Termination packets may include the following products: incident logs, site safety plan, IAP, models, reach-back POCs, site sketches or photographs, and analysis results. All reports will be submitted before departure from the incident site, and a debriefing is provided to the IC before the mission is terminated.

I-22. The OPCEN conducts redeployment coordination. A redeployment plan will be prepared to redeploy the unit according to the unit SOP. The team also coordinates with the IC for the disposition of hazardous items, including equipment and waste.

I-23. During the response phase, the operations section may do the following:

    • Coordinate with higher HQ.
    • Update maps.
    • Update the task organization.
    • Update frequencies/call signs.
    • Update the hazard model.
    • Maintain LNO contact and the rotation plan.
    • Establish and maintain an incident log.
    • Track the status of all personnel and equipment.
    • Plan future operations.
    • Submit and receive all reports.
    • Request entry of CST personnel into the hot-zone.
    • Confirm that the CST decontamination site is operational prior to survey teams entering into any contaminated zone.
    • Ensure that personnel execute sample chain-of-custody procedures.
    • Update the commander/deputy, as required.
    • Maintain SA at all times.
    • Develop and refine the information for the list of PIR.
    • Brief the IC on CST operations and plans.
    • Maintain reach-back SME capability with the communications team.
    • Accomplish all required internal communications checks.
    • Request any additional resources, as required.
    • Conduct RA and update the site safety plan.
    • Monitor downrange operations (such as time on air, number of personnel downrange).
    • Submit required closing reports/AARs.



I-24. In the postincident phase, the unit redeploys, debriefs operations, performs equipment maintenance and resupply, reconstitutes its operational readiness, updates the unit readiness status, and resets its response posture.

I-25. The operations section should prepare, conduct, and disseminate, as appropriate, an AAR. The section submits a closure report/AAR to the appropriate HQ.

I-26. The operations section revises current plans in order to improve future operations.

I-27. During the postincident phase, the operations section will also do the following:

    • Ensure that all team and equipment status is briefed to the commander.
    • Ensure that all borrowed equipment is returned to the CST.
    • Complete any required air coordination.
    • Prepare final FRAGOs.
    • Assist the commander/deputy in establishing priorities of work.
    • Maintain communications with appropriate higher HQ and agencies.
    • Liaise/coordinate with the departure airfield and/or the unit providing airlift support.
    • Conduct the final CST safety/movement brief.
    • Submit required closing reports.


Join the mailing list