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Homeland Security

Chapter 4

Civil Support Team Operations

Chapter 4 briefly addresses the tiered emergency response system. It discusses CST mission planning, response operations, operational phases, and risk management (RM).



4-1. In the US, response to an emergency is primarily a local responsibility. When faced with emergency incidents or threats of incidents, local governments employ EFRs, including fire, police, and emergency medical services (EMS). They are supported by emergency dispatch systems, emergency managers, or emergency management agencies. When local resources are overwhelmed by an event, or if specific technical capabilities required are not available, local leaders may implement existing mutual aid agreements to request additional support from neighboring communities and seek supplemental assistance through county and state emergency management systems. If the state, including its NG, lacks sufficient assets to mitigate a disaster, in quantity or technical response capability, the governor may request outside assistance (either state or federal). Support from another state may be arranged on a bilateral basis or under existing agreements. If federal, the President directs the federal response to disasters (natural and man-made). For most disasters, the FRP guides the cooperative process that orchestrates the actions of the federal agencies. For an incident involving a CBRNE, assets from all tiers of government may be needed in a nearly simultaneous response to maximize recovery (see Figure 4-1).

Figure 4-1. CSTs in Tiered Response

Figure 4-1. CSTs in Tiered Response



4-2. The ICS is used by local, state, and federal emergency response communities to manage operations at an incident site. The ICS is designed to facilitate changes in C2 responsibilities during a response by providing a common organizational architecture. As more and more responders arrive at a scene, the C2 may change hands many times between local responders, state responders, and federal response forces; but the organizational structure will remain the same. Federal law requires the use of ICS for response to HAZMAT incidents (29 CFR 1910.120). See Figure 4-2 and Table 4-1 for information on the ICS organization and its roles and responsibilities.

Figure 4-2. ICS Organization

Figure 4-2. ICS Organization



4-3. Though state emergency management systems vary in name and structure, their function is to coordinate response between state, county, and city governments; community businesses; and private organizations. State emergency management agencies will also coordinate with FEMA when available state assets are insufficient to meet incident mitigation requirements.

4-4. The state emergency management agency coordinates movement of state response assets into an incident scene to fill requirements not supported by the local responders.

4-5. States without an assigned CST may request, through the NGB, a CST from another state. States with a CST may request an additional unit, if necessary. These requests may be facilitated by the use of interstate compacts, such as the EMAC. Although compacts facilitate interstate support, they are not mandatory for interstate assistance.



4-6. Local and state governments routinely respond to a wide array of domestic emergencies without any federal assistance. Even some CBRNE incidents may not overwhelm local response capabilities, but they may require technical advice and assistance that is not readily available in local or state agencies. However, a large-scale incident may overwhelm local and state responders, requiring considerable federal assistance.

4-7. RFAs from civil authorities are coordinated through the FRP process. If local or state authorities submit an RFA, FEMA develops a mission assignment and tasks the appropriate primary agency according to 12 functional areas titled emergency support functions (ESFs) in the FRP. If the tasked primary agency needs additional assistance, it may request military support through the on-scene defense coordinating officer or the SECDEF. Military elements capable of providing the necessary response are then sent to the incident area under the OPCON of the DCO or JTF (during a CBRNE incident) to perform the tasks. The CST can aid in developing the requests for assistance that are forwarded to their state coordinating officer.

4-8. The CST may be federalized and deployed as a part of a federal response for an incident in or outside their assigned state.

Table 4-1. Roles and Responsibilities Within the ICS

Table 4-1. Roles and Responsibilities Within the ICS



4-9. Local, county, and state officials may request support from TAG or the appropriate state authority according to the assigned state plan. Normally, these requests flow through the same process as other emergency requests for state assistance.

4-10. The state emergency management agency, working in close coordination with the state NG OPCEN (which may or may not be collocated), will process requests for assistance. The governor or his designated representative can approve the request and have the CST deploy to the incident site. CSTs are designed to be initial assets from the state with the ability to communicate using the UCS. They also and have an understanding of other specialized response assets available. The CST will most often be deployed to an incident site under other-than-federalized status prior to the declaration of a federal emergency.

4-11. State requests for CST support can originate from the governor's office, officials in an affected community (emergency management center), or from the state NG HQ.

4-12. Federal requests may originate from any federal agency, but they must be validated by the DCO.

4-13. Key questions must be answered and evaluated to ensure the request for CST support is valid and that the team can perform the required functions. Questions that may be asked include-

    • Who is making the request?
    • What is the request, and is it legal?
    • Who normally performs the function?
    • What is the "real" requirement? (Who is supported? What needs to be done? Where and when is it needed?)
    • Does the CST have the capability to provide support? (With proper assets/equipment? Safely with trained personnel? Legally and cost effectively?)
    • Are there any issues or special considerations?
    • How much will it cost, and who will pay?
    • When is the mission complete?

4-14. Each state develops and publishes validation procedures for requests for CST support and ensures that personnel involved in the mission assignment process are trained on these procedures.



4-15. This section briefly addresses CBRNE hazard analysis, contingency, logistical support, coordination, process, FP, and communications planning.



4-16. CST capabilities include contingency planning and assistance, advisement, and assessment support. Participation in local, state, and federal regional planning meetings and exercises can help ensure that the CST capabilities are understood and applied appropriately. Through the conduct of education, training, and exercises with emergency response personnel and supporting organizations, the CST can have a significant impact on the preparedness of the areas they support.

4-17. CST planning should be coordinated with local emergency action plans, state emergency response plans, and the FRP.

    • Local emergency action plans. County, city, or community leaders develop plans to manage disaster-related events while informing and coordinating state level emergency assistance. Emergency action plans are developed by first responders and local hospitals to manage fire, injury, and law enforcement actions. Combined CST and first responder training facilitate improved operating procedures and response coordination.
    • State emergency response plan. State emergency planners prepare coordinated plans to mobilize and make use of state resources (including CSTs).
    • FRP. The FRP contains 12 functional areas called ESFs. The FRP provides standing mission assignments to designated departments and agencies with primary and support responsibilities to carry out ESF activities.

4-18. CST mission planning includes CBRNE hazard analysis and contingency planning. The analysis assesses the hazard from CBRNE weapons and/or material, including its potential location, quantity, specific physical and chemical hazards, and the possible risk of release. Contingency planning develops comprehensive, coordinated responses to potential CBRNE incidents. The contingency planning builds on the hazard analysis and recognizes that no single public or private sector agency is capable of managing a CBRNE incident by itself.

Hazard Analysis Planning


4-19. CBRNE hazard analysis is one of the foundations of the planning process. It is conducted for potential CBRNE incident situations. In addition to the CBRNE hazard analysis, vulnerabilities (such as, What is susceptible to damage should an incident occur?) must also be examined. A CBRNE hazard analysis provides the following benefits:

    • It lets the CST know what to expect.
    • It creates an increased awareness of CBRNE hazards.
    • It may indicate a need for other preventive actions, such as other monitoring capabilities.
    • It increases the probability of successful response operations.

4-20. The CST can assist and advise local and state emergency planners in the CBRNE hazard analysis process. CST capabilities support the hazard analysis process through-

    • CBRNE hazard analysis. The CST can advise emergency planners on those agents and/or materials that have the potential to cause injury to life or damage to property and the environment. Hazard analysis may use available information such as the type, location, and quantity of CBRNE material, and the nature of the hazard.
    • CBRNE vulnerability analysis. The CST may help emergency planners identify what facilities, property, or personnel may be susceptible if a CBRNE incident occurs. A comprehensive CBRNE vulnerability analysis provides information on the size of the vulnerable zones, the population (in terms of numbers, density, and types), and the property or facilities that could be affected.
    • CBRNE risk analysis (RA). The CST assists emergency planners during their planning on the probability of a CBRNE incident and the consequences that could occur.
    • CBRNE emergency response resources evaluation. The CST advises emergency planners on potential risks and potential CBRNE emergency response resource requirements. The resource requirements could include personnel, equipment, and supplies necessary for CBRNE mitigation.

4-21. Time and resources will dictate the depth and extent to which the CBRNE hazard analysis can be conducted. The completed analysis enables a better understanding of the potential implications of a CBRNE incident and what resources may be required to achieve a response.

Contingency Planning


4-22. CBRNE planning is a multidisciplined (such as emergency planning, medical, survey) approach that goes beyond the resources and capabilities of any single agency. The CST assists and advises emergency planners in the comprehensive planning process. The CST advises and assists emergency planners, as required, through-

    • Participating (if required) as a member of the planning team (such as advising or assisting local emergency planning committees).
    • Helping to define and implement planning team tasks (such as identifying CBRNE hazards and assessing response capabilities).
    • Helping state or local emergency planners write contingency plans or prepare CST contingency plans.
    • Advising on revisions to or maintenance of contingency plans. Based on the availability of new information or data, CSTs can assist in the preparation of revised plans.

4-23. The CST may develop contingency plans and OPORDs (see Appendix F for a sample CST OPORD) in conjunction with other agencies. CST response plans are updated regularly and coordinated with the appropriate response agencies in the region. (See Table 4-2 for sample planning considerations.)

Table 4-2. Sample Planning Considerations

Table 4-2. Sample Planning Considerations



4-24. The Defense Consequence Management Support Center (CMSUPCEN) is a DOD activity established to supply, sustain, and assist with initial equipment fielding for designated WMD response forces. The Defense CMSUPCEN conducts stock management and warehousing, warranty management, integrated logistics support (ILS), and coordination and monitoring of forward-area resupply and sustainment. The Defense CMSUPCEN uses a life cycle management (LCM) handbook that establishes its concept for performing selected life cycle sustainment tasks for the CSTs. The handbook provides guidance for initial equipment issue and subsequent sustainment of CSTs.

4-25. The Defense CMSUPCEN emergency resupply activity provides environmental, pre-positioned reconstitution and float packages formed into prepackaged, stand-alone sets to be transported to resupply units engaged in operations, contingencies, special-event support, or exercises.

4-26. Certain items of standard military equipment are provided by the state or procured locally at the scene.



4-27. Detailed and coordinated planning results in the preparation and use of SOPs and guidance that support unit operations. Each team develops SOPs that are continually updated to reflect evolving CST doctrine, command guidance, and lessons learned.

4-28. Detailed planning and coordination of CST activities should consider the following to ensure the orderly progression through all phases of CST operations. Coordination topics include-

    • Sources of threat information (such as FBI, local law enforcement).
    • Detailed maps of the area.
    • FP and rules on use of force.
    • Security clearance requirements.
    • A definitive interaction plan during the preincident phase to enhance the ability of the CST to work with other response organizations during an actual incident response. CST elements working in conjunction with their state military staffs should identify key players in the emergency response community and foster working relationships that will facilitate emergency response activities.
    • Joint exercises with first responders and local, state, and federal emergency management organizations in their assigned areas of responsibility (AORs).
    • Report frequency and types of reports (see Appendix E for more information on reporting responsibilities and types of reports).
    • Detailed and rehearsed checklists (see Appendix D for a sample CST checklist).
    • Guidance on use of force (see Appendix C for more information).
    • Transition of CST status from Title 32 to Title 10, if required (see Appendix B for more information).

4-29. Participation in the military decision-making process and involvement in the development of plans and orders support coordinated planning. Involvement in the planning process furnishes the CST with advance notification of potential missions, facilitating more detailed planning.



4-30. FP is a paramount concern of all commanders. CSTs work as small units that interact with a wide variety of agencies (civilian and military). This interaction implies a degree of risk that may be higher than the risks encountered by conventional forces. The risks can, however, be mitigated by a thorough analysis of the environment as it relates to mission requirements and by strict adherence to resultant FP measures.

Operational Security Planning


4-31. Deployed CSTs consider the following sample OPSEC considerations in their FP planning (the list is not all inclusive):

    • Use of force. Does the use-of-force guidance for individual or unit self-defense ensure the safeguarding of cryptographic materials and sensitive communications equipment?
    • OPSEC. Is (classified or unclassified) information disclosed that could compromise the mission? Is the unit continually evaluating essential elements of friendly information (EEFI) countermeasures for applicability? OPSEC denies the adversary information critical to the success of friendly military operations. It contributes to the security of Army forces and their ability to surprise enemies and adversaries. OPSEC identifies routine activities that may telegraph friendly intentions, operations, capabilities, or military activities. It acts to suppress, conceal, control, or eliminate their indicators. OPSEC includes counter-surveillance, signal security (SIGSEC), and information security (INFOSEC).
    • Physical security (PHYSEC). Is access to unit and individual work areas, equipment, documents, and billeting areas controlled? Are other safeguards (such as guards, barriers, or patrols) available if necessary? Do local PHYSEC measures match the FP condition? PHYSEC planning also addresses key areas such as perimeter security for the incident site (cold, warm, and hot-zones) as provided by the supported ICS and law enforcement organization.
    • Personnel security (PERSEC). Can the unit or individual vary routines?
    • Law enforcement. Does liaison exist with local law enforcement? Are law enforcement capabilities sufficient to counter the anticipated threat? Are the locations of civilian police, military police (MP), government agencies, and other safe locations available? Can the unit maintain points of contact (POCs) with organizations in the deployment area?
    • Antiterrorism (AT). Is an updated threat briefing available? Does a plan exist for coping with a terrorist attack? Has the plan been rehearsed? Does an alert system exist? Can the unit reduce its signature where possible? Is a means in place to identify the location of all personnel?

Communications Security Planning


4-32. COMSEC is protection resulting from all measures designed to (1) deny unauthorized persons information of value that might be derived from the possession and study of telecommunications, or (2) mislead unauthorized persons in their interpretation of the results of such possession and study. Additionally, CSTs apply the planning guidance provided by the NGB on COMSEC matters (See NGB HQ, Security Classification Guidance for CSTs, October 2001). Sample COMSEC considerations include the following:

    • Cryptosecurity results from the provision of technically sound cryptosystems and their proper use.
    • Transmission security results from all measures designed to protect transmissions from interception and exploitation by means other than cryptanalysis.
    • Emission security results from all measures taken to deny unauthorized persons information of value that might be derived from intercept and analysis of compromising emanations from cryptoequipment and telecommunications systems.
    • PHYSEC of COMSEC materials and information results from all physical measures necessary to safeguard classified equipment, material, and documents from access thereto or observation thereof by unauthorized persons.
    • Electronic security is the protection resulting from all measures designed to deny unauthorized persons information of value that might be derived from their interception and study of electromagnetic radiation (such as radar).

Communications Planning


4-33. The primary goal of communications planning is to ensure voice and data (secure and nonsecure) connectivity (internally and externally). The CST must be prepared to coordinate, integrate, and incorporate team communications capability into any incident. CST communications support differs from the support provided to tactical Commanders in that support requirements for communications planning are generally different for every operation. This is due to a number of factors. For example-

    • Communications assets available to ICs at an incident scene will likely differ with each operation. Therefore, there must be an integration of operations and communications support plans. For example, the integration process could include the use of commercial communications to supplement CST communications requirements.
    • Connectivity requirements will likely vary with each operation. To perform his duties, the CST commander requires an unbroken chain of communications that links the home station, en route assets, and on-scene assets.
    • Interoperability requirements will likely vary with each operation. Standard operability is a key goal; however, a communications link must be achieved in spite of the lack of standardization.
    • Security will be required for communications resources. For example, secure communications links will be needed to support CBRNE operations.

4-34. CST communications planning ensures that each section can communicate with on-scene units and support assets and the CST communications link through the IC communications center (COMCEN). Communications planning addresses key areas such as frequency management and restricting access to CST satellite and radio frequencies. Encryption equipment will be accounted for and safeguarded at all times. CST communications planning identifies available radio and telephone communications at an incident site. Planning also considers the availability of mutual-aid radios, programmable scanner radios for monitoring emergency radio frequencies, and access to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather frequencies, if applicable. CST planning further identifies the sources for reach-back data. Additionally, communications planning identifies backup emergency power sources and monitoring of local and national news coverage. Incident operations require frequency management for interoperability. A frequency listing and other information (such as call signs, communications-electronics operating instructions [CEOI], and COMSEC information) are provided for distribution to users. Specific planning considerations should include-

    • Frequency allocation. Frequency allocations are area-dependent, and net planning must address and implement timely updates to minimize disruptions in the operation when units change their AOs.
    • Reporting. CSTs must report their organizational and special communications needs so that the applicable C2 HQ can address all contingencies. For example, the applicable C2 HQ produces (and may transfer) the CEOI electronically, by paper, or by data fill devices to the users.
    • Deconfliction. Planning must include provisions to prevent interference between collocated radios operating on the same frequency band. For example, the potential for interference exists in frequency-hopping (FH) modes. Communications planners must consider and assess the on-site interference by other FH systems, such as mobile subscriber equipment. When planning the CEOI, the communications planners consider the types of radios, cryptographic equipment, key lists, and frequency allocations available at the incident for the particular AO.
    • Interoperability. Equipment interoperability is a major issue in network planning for VHF systems. The planning must cover FH, if applicable, and single channel (SC) modes of operations. Therefore, plans should address (if applicable) interfaces between SC and FH radios or lateral placement of interoperable radios.
    • Cryptographic management. Planning addresses the necessity for security and interoperability of cryptographic materials (such as key lists and devices).
    • Network requirements. The initial OPLAN and the unit SOP help to determine the type of net needed. The network plan should answer such questions as the following:

    • What type of information is to be passed (such as data, voice, or both)?
    • Does the unit require communications with users normally not in its network? Is the network a common user or a designated membership net?
    • Is retransmission needed to extend the network range?
    • Is a net radio interface required?

    • Information requirements (IR). Communications planning also integrates the commander's intent and focuses on important information decision recommendations that include the following:

    • What type of information will be needed at the incident site?
    • How should the information be compiled?
    • What is the priority of information?
    • How will information be stored for quick recovery?
    • What agencies are needed for reach-back capability? (See Appendix G for more information on reach-back capabilities and selected federal response assets.)

4-35. The CST is equipped to assist in bridging communications between response units, but it can also provide on-scene information to other state and federal units preparing to deploy to the site. The main communications support for CST units comes from the Trojan Spirit Team, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The Trojan Spirit Team provides multiple secure and nonsecure means, including voice and messaging services, via a satellite link from the UCS to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). This link provides the deployed CST access to the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN). The Trojan Spirit Team also assigns satellite communications frequencies to individual CST elements. UHF/VHF communications coordination is accomplished at the state level to ensure that frequencies are available prior to and during the response mission.

4-36. Communications planning also provides for direct linkages between the CST UCS and the C2 HQ. On-site sections within the CST will have the capability to communicate within the unit, and select teams (such as operations) have the capability to communicate on any UCS radio net. CSTs may also go to other agencies for applicable information; some information cannot be obtained ahead of time and must be obtained on site. Some of these plans require direct input of CSTs; others are done by other agencies but are useful to CSTs. While CSTs are performing mission functions, input may be provided to other agencies that facilitate their planning.



4-37. The CST has a broad range of assessment, advisement, and assistance capabilities that can be applied across a spectrum of operational missions prior to or in response to an attack. The unit has the capability to conduct predictive analysis and identify vulnerabilities within its AOR. Based upon unit assessment, recommendations can be provided to appropriate officials. The CST can conduct passive monitoring or conduct sampling at various points within the area of concern to verify or deny the presence of a contaminant. The unit is able to transfer military knowledge and expertise to local and state response organizations and emergency managers on CBRNE-related issues. The unit's response to a suspected, threatened, or actual terrorist attack can include providing a nondeployment informational response, deploying in a no-notice response, or providing preplanned coverage.



4-38. The CST may be able to meet an IC's RFA without deployment. The CST may furnish advice and assistance, such as POC information, technical information, or operational data that does not require deployment (such as plume projections that can be critical to emergency planners and first responders).



4-39. A CST may be deployed to respond if a terrorist strike is about to occur or has occurred. For this type of operation, the commander must review the on-hand assets of the unit and deploy with the appropriate personnel and equipment to meet expected mission demands. In order to expedite the arrival of the CST to the incident site, the commander deploys an ADVON, as soon as possible. The ADVON is a small forward element of the CST that possesses limited capability and is sent to the incident site ahead of the main body of unit equipment and personnel. Generally, the ADVON performs link up operations with the IC, site quartering, verifies hot-zones, plans site entry, and provides advice (to include hazard modeling). The ADVON may be able to determine that deployment of the main body is not required.



4-40. Most employments during peacetime will be in a prestaged role. Units may provide on-scene assets to the IC if a terrorist attack occurs at an event that draws large attendance or if disrupting the event will achieve terrorist goals and objectives. The CST enters into deliberate planning for CST mission support; conducts an area assessment predeployment site survey; conducts initial, mid, and final planning conferences; deploys to the event; executes mission support; redeploys to the home station; and conducts postmission activities.



4-41. There are five operational phases: preincident, alert, deploy, response, and postincident (see Figure 4-3). (See Appendixes H through M for information on CST section actions during these five phases.)

Figure 4-3. Operational Phases

Figure 4-3. Operational Phases



4-42. In the preincident phase, the team completes planning, training, maintenance, and exercises to prepare for and improve response operations. Key activities include coordination, training, and maintaining an appropriate response posture or capability.

Unit Preparation


4-43. Unit preparation ensures that personnel and equipment are prepared and maintained at the highest levels of readiness. Commanders must ensure that soldiers are trained and evaluated in all procedures they may be called upon to perform in a CBRNE response environment. Equipment maintenance for vehicles and special response items must be a high priority during the preincident phase of operations. (See Appendix O for information on CST equipment.)

Mission Support


4-44. CST preincident actions (and through all phases) support the decision-making process, and are based on the mission as defined by the commander. Missions, taskings, priorities, and command or support relationships (as required) are coordinated and established by the commander. Based on the commander's guidance, CSTs prepare and update plans.

4-45. During the preincident phase, the CST commander provides opportunities through exercises and training for identification, assessment, advisement, and assistance activities. For example, training with civilian first responders provides the opportunity to conduct exercises using the CST organic identification capabilities, assist in preparing RFAs, or advise responders on the results of assessments conducted during an exercise scenario. The following provides representative actions that could be considered when providing identification, assessment, advisement, and assistance (the sample list is multiple and varied; planners war-game multiple scenarios to outline other possible variables):

    • Identify areas of interest (AOI) for CBRNE reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S).
    • Verify what CBRNE identification capabilities and equipment are available for a potential response scenario.
    • Determine where these assets are located.
    • Determine what restrictions may exist on the use of unit assets (such as areas with poor communications).
    • Determine when other response assets will arrive.
    • Determine potential resupply requirements.
    • Prepare and/or update contingency plans.
    • Provide briefings on CST capabilities.
    • Support CBRNE hazard analysis and contingency planning.



4-46. In the alert phase, 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 the deployment. Members are equipped with pagers to expedite this process.

Unit Preparation


4-47. The alert phase includes those specific actions needed to notify CST commanders and the primary staff to a potential deployment. This phase consists of two elements-notification of a potential incident response mission and receipt of a valid WO from higher HQ and assembly. Local procedures will be established to allow for the most expeditious call-up of unit members. When a CST is alerted for a mission, other CSTs may be notified and alerted to a standby to provide follow-on support if required. In the event that a CST is activated by TAG or a state governor, the NGB OPCEN will be notified as soon as possible.

4-48. Notification occurs when CST commanders and their primary staffs have a valid mission WO from higher HQ. Notification can begin prior to the receipt of a WO and/or RFA through official channels. However, deployment cannot occur without a valid RFA. Notification of team members can begin when it is determined (through any means available) that a CBRNE event exists or is imminent.

4-49. During assembly, unit members arrive at the designated assembly area to complete final loading of essential equipment and execute premission checklists. At the direction of the unit commander and according to local SOP, an ADVON may be deployed to the incident site during assembly to begin an initial assessment. The ADVON deployment depends on the time available, the distance to the incident site, and the necessary mode of transportation. Distances requiring air movement of the team may prohibit dispatching an ADVON. Representative ADVON functions are shown in Table 4-3.

Table 4-3. Representative ADVON Features

Table 4-3. Representative ADVON Features

Mission Support


4-50. During the alert phase, multiple actions continue. The CST continues internal unit preparation and conducts advance coordination with applicable agencies at the incident scene to obtain and maintain SA. During the alert phase, the CST focuses on obtaining responses to commander's critical information requirements (CCIR). Obtaining required information is crucial in providing support for the CST identification assessment, advice, and assistance functions. The needed information may be obtained by the ADVON, or unit liaison personnel, or it can be provided from the incident scene through the unit chain of command or ICS. CCIR could include the following:

    • What is the incident location? (street address and longitude/latitude)
    • Does the incident have an operational name?
    • Is the incident a suspected terrorist/criminal act or perceived to be just an accident?
    • What is the suspected agent(s)?
    • What are the numbers of victims (if any)?
    • What are the signs and symptoms of the victims?
    • Has there been an EMS transport of the victims?
    • Have there been any hospital transfers of the incident victims?
    • What is the location of the victims (if any)?
    • Who are the medical POCs?
    • Are any medical CST POCs on site? Who are they?
    • What is the status of EMS (such as paramedics on site, transport capability, triage plan, triage location)?
    • Who or what authorities or response elements have been notified (such as Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], United States Public Health Service [USPHS], morgues, health care facilities)?
    • What response assets are present?
    • What is the status of public works?
    • Who is the POC for public works?
    • What is the status of water?
    • What is the status of electricity on site? What is the availability to support operations in the warm, cold, or hot-zone?
    • What is the status of law enforcement?
    • What is the evidence collection or sample collection plan?
    • Who are the police chief and the POC for the police?
    • Who is the incident site safety officer?
    • Who is the HAZMAT team chief?
    • Who is the fire chief?
    • Who are other POCs at the incident site?
    • Who has information on on-site organization and coordination plans, site survey plans, local emergency planning committee (LEPC) data sheets of adjacent buildings, site maps, emergency response plans, very important person (VIP) coordination, public affairs (PA) liaison, LOG POC, and current maps of the area?
    • What are the weather and other environmental information (such as relative humidity; wind speed and direction; status of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning [HVAC] systems; and control of contaminated waste)?
    • What are the telephone numbers and radio frequencies for the ICP and IC liaisons?

4-51. During this phase, the CST is providing assessment, assistance, and advice. The CST ADVON may be assisting the IC staff with information on the types of support that could be available or may be assisting with identification efforts. Alternatively, assistance could be furnished from off site (such as nondeployment information response) using CST secure or nonsecure communications with personnel at the incident site.

4-52. The CST may advise applicable personnel at the incident scene on other types of available support. This information may be required to help frame the RFA or provide recommendations on PPE options. The CST ADVON may also furnish assessments to incident-scene officials on the implications of CBRNE contamination (such as toxicity, hazard estimates).

4-53. CST planning continues to refine the integrated incident contingency plan, revise section plans (such as survey section CBRNE reconnaissance plan), and coordinate through the ADVON for updated information.



4-54. In the deploy phase, the team receives a valid deployment order and deploys to the designated staging area in the AO.

Unit Preparation


4-55. Communications with the local IC and/or the supported emergency response organization will be initiated as soon as possible. The means of deployment will be determined by METT-TC. Each requires detailed planning, coordination, and training. The CST ADVON continues to provide responses to unit IR.

Mission Support


4-56. Timely mission support planning during this phase requires maintaining SA of events at the incident scene. The impact of relocating from home station places a premium on maintaining communications with officials at the incident site and updating response measures as required. During deployment, the CST continues to receive updates on CCIR to support the identification, assessment, advisement, and assistance functions; however, priority may be placed on receiving updates in areas such as-

    • The physical environment (such as seasonal effects on the CBRNE incident scene).
    • CST support requirements (such as staging area locations).
    • On-site access.
    • CBRNE hazard identification and data.
    • CBRNE vulnerability analysis and contingency planning inputs from the CST ADVON or liaison personnel.



4-57. In the response phase, the team arrives at the incident site or staging area, reports as a support asset to the IC or designated authority, and commences operations.

Unit Preparation


4-58. During the response phase, tasks may range from establishing the CST OPCEN to advising the IC. Once on scene, the CST continues to maintain liaison with external agencies and organizations; provides advice, assistance, and assessment support; executes reach-back capabilities; receives updates through the unit chain of command and the ICS on priorities and missions; and continues to receive CCIR updates.

Mission Support


4-59. During the response phase, assessments may be conducted that support-

    • Conducting predictive analysis to identify vulnerabilities at the attack site and advising the IC of results.
    • Collecting the necessary information and developing plans to collect samples for analysis and/or identifying unknown substances. This plan will include information on medical surveillance, site safety, decontamination, and communications.
    • Using reach-back communications links to designated scientists and SME labs for advisory, confirmatory, and technical information.
    • Performing surveys, as required, to complete assessments.

4-60. The CST may advise the IC on the results of assessments. After identifying the CBRNE hazard, the CST can provide initial assessments of the effects or the potential impact on public health, property, and the environment. The advisement may be based on any one of several CST capabilities (such as use of survey and medical team, reach-back, decision support tools, and SME expertise). Assessment tools include the following:

    • The joint assessment and consequence evaluation (which provides the CST commander with a unique set of assessment tools to support initial and follow-on advisory information provided to the IC).
    • Methods to determine the downwind hazard area of a CBRNE incident.
    • Electronic reach-back computer links with DTRA and other state-of-the-art modeling centers.
    • Manual modeling using organic computers and hazard modeling software tools employed by DTRA and other modeling centers.

4-61. The CST may assist the IC in the preparation of plans for the establishment of incident site restrictions, required exclusion areas/control zones (cold, warm, and hot), or various protection options. CST modeling and reach-back tools can also be used to assist the IC in the refinement of the hazard predictions. This assistance in the planning process can be supported by-

    • Protecting responders and the public from the threat of exposure.
    • Protecting property and the environment.
    • Developing evacuation and decontamination plans. (See Appendix N for information on CST decontamination operations.)
    • Determining facilities and populations at risk.
    • Advising responders on protocols regarding military chemical agents, military chemical agent precursors, known military biological agents, unknown biological agents, dispersed radiological material, and TIM.
    • Advising on the additional response forces that could help in the mitigation process at the incident; identifying other state and DOD assets that may be useful in mitigating the effects of the event; helping the IC develop requests for assistance for additional state or DOD response capabilities; and providing information to assets identified to respond and bridge any civil-military communications gaps or issues.

4-62. The CST contribution at the incident scene includes providing identification. The identification process is supported through accomplishing the following representative tasks:

    • Performing surveys to conduct identification, as required, and updating site incident action plans (see Appendix P).
    • Performing laboratory analysis of samples.
    • Using technical reach-back to provide data to support operations in diverse environments and situations (see Appendix Q).

4-63. The CST may maintain engagement for further incident mitigation if state or federal authorities determine that it should be employed in a capacity, beyond its primary mission (identify, assess, advise, and assist). The redeployment decision will be made by the deploying authority.



4-64. In the postincident phase, the CST prepares to redeploy. It begins to provide support for its next mission.

Unit Preparation


4-65. In the postincident phase, the unit redeploys, debriefs operations, performs equipment maintenance and resupply, reconstitutes its operational readiness, and resets its response posture.

Mission Support


4-66. During this phase, the CST addresses key operations and logistics actions that will help ensure CST readiness for its next mission. Key considerations include-

    • Identifying damaged equipment requiring service, replacement, or repair.
    • Identifying equipment or expended supplies that require specialized decontamination or disposal.
    • Assessing the need for a critical incident stress debriefing.
    • Conducting follow-up medical surveillance.
    • Preparing required follow-on, after-action reports (AARs).
    • Determining the level of financial responsibility.
    • Determining the need for conducting follow-on training or updating SOPs.



4-67. RM is the process of identifying and controlling hazards to protect the force. It is applicable to any mission and environment. The five steps of the RM process are-

    • Identify hazards to the force.
    • Assess hazards to determine risks.
    • Develop controls and make risk decisions.
    • Implement controls.
    • Supervise and evaluate.



4-68. Team members and individual personnel should be constantly alert for indicators of potentially hazardous situations and for signs and symptoms in themselves and others that warn of hazardous conditions or exposures. Immediate recognition of dangerous situations can avert an emergency and prevent injuries and loss of life.



4-69. In a WMD response situation, critical information must be conveyed quickly and accurately. Personnel must be able to communicate such information as the location of injured personnel, orders to evacuate, and safe evacuation routes. Internal emergency signals should be developed and rehearsed regularly.



4-70. Detailed information about the site is essential for advance planning and incident operations. At a minimum, commanders need to develop a sketch containing the locations and types of specific hazards. The sketch should contain, at a minimum, the following information:

    • Hazard areas (cold-zone, warm-zone, hot-zone, and minimum safe distances [MSDs]).
    • Site terrain.
    • Ingress and egress routes.
    • Site accessibility by vehicle and on foot.
    • Off-site populations or environments at risk.
    • Pertinent information (weather, wind conditions, temperature, and forecast).
    • Site maps (detailed and to scale).


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