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Homeland Security

Chapter 5

Civil Support Team Training and Exercises

CST training comprises participation in both military and emergency responder training. Team members acquire approximately 1,000 hours of initial training above their MOS qualification or professional military education requirements. Specifically, this chapter addresses training goals, individual and collective training, training management, long-range planning; and CST exercises.



5-1. The CST training plan (goals) starts with individual training (IT), builds to team and full-unit collective training, and culminates in a full-scale, realistic collective training exercise that is modeled on the Army's combat training centers (CTCs).

5-2. The operational success of the CSTs is founded in the expertise and capabilities of its members to conduct domestic support operations in a CBRNE environment.

5-3. CSTs are trained to operate in support of the IC and within the framework of the civilian EFR ICS.



5-4. Service members selected for the CST element are fully qualified in their respective MOSs. Proponent schools allocate seats at the chemical and medical officer basic courses (OBCs) and other professional military education (PME) courses as needed. Upon completion of specialty/branch qualification, the service members of the CST elements are enrolled in the CST institutional training program. All members of the CST attend intensive IT tailored to the specific responsibilities of their assigned duty positions during the first seven months of their assignment to the unit. The instruction includes both classroom and substantial hands-on, performance-oriented instruction. This joint, interagency, multifunctional CST institutional training maximizes the use of current civilian and military courses, standards, and instructors and leverages their expertise and capabilities.



5-5. The CST training program includes courses taught by the civilian EFR community (such as state fire academies and civilian first responder professional organizations), and military and nonmilitary educational schools.



5-6. The unique aspects of the CST mission (particularly the nonfederal civilian-military requirements) the hazardous CBRNE mission environments, and the nontraditional skills and equipment require a specialized training program for the command team and staff. Training must be provided to the CST commander and staff in all aspects of mission operations (assess, advise, and assist). The training focuses on both individual and team requirements.



5-7. Training focus for CSTs includes—

    • Required MOS qualification and professional development education and training.
    • Execution of CST-specific individual and specialized training requirements.
    • Mission-essential task list (METL) task proficiency.



5-8. The institutional phase of initial training focuses on IT, with the first priority being CST-specific training and the second priority being individual military specialty and branch qualification. Each member receives, on the average, approximately 1,000 hours of initial instruction specific to the team mission. This instruction is in addition to service-required military specialty training, common skills training, and professional education.

5-9. Training is provided through a mix of formal classroom instruction, distance learning, and practical application at federal and state proponent schools, selected central locations, and the unit's home station.

5-10. The curriculum includes extensive training in all four of the HAZMAT response levels (awareness, operations, HAZMAT technician, and incident command). Training partners/providers during this phase include—

    • DOJ.
    • FBI.
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
    • FEMA.
    • National Fire Academy (NFA).
    • Department of Energy (DOE).
    • US Army Chemical School (USACMLS).
    • US Army Medical Department Center and School (USAMEDDC&S).
    • US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).
    • US Army Medical Research Institute for Chemical Defense (USAMRICD).

5-11. The term "MOS" includes Army MOS, Army additional skill identifier (ASI), Army skill qualification identifier (SQI), Air Force specialty code (AFSC), and Air Force special experience identifier (SEI) unless otherwise required for clarity. Service regulations and policies guide MOS training.

5-12. Because all CST members are engaged in principal mission training and/or operational alert status five or more days weekly in full-time active guard reserve (AGR) status with their assigned units, CST members are exempt from the requirements and procedures for mobilization training, annual training, and weekend drills (IT).

5-13. The unit commander will validate IT completion to at least the 90 percent level prior to the beginning of unit level collective training.



5-14. The collective training sustainment plan requires that exercises be conducted with first responders and encourages joint and interagency training. Unit training is conducted according to FMs 25-100 and 25-101, the CST mission training plan (MTP), and US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) Regulation 350-2.

5-15. Collective training focuses on collective MTP/Army Training and Evaluation Program (ARTEP) and METL tasks. CSTs participate in—

    • Section and team training and command post exercises (CPXs) with first response and other state/local organizations.
    • CST element field training exercises (FTXs).
    • Lanes training exercises at their home station and elsewhere.

5-16. Appropriately qualified external observers, controllers, and trainers are used for selected training.

5-17. This training addresses all aspects of the CST mission (assess, advise, and assist) in a balanced manner throughout the operational phases.



5-18. Sustainment training is essentially a unit and state TAG responsibility, and is designed for a CST to maintain proficiency in its METL.

5-19. Sustainment training includes—

    • Initial IT for new team members hired to replace losses.
    • Advanced courses in selected team member skill areas.
    • Refresher and proficiency training to meet individual member certification requirements as prescribed by federal and local laws and regulations.
    • Schools to meet service individual military specialties.
    • Common skills and professional education requirements.



5-20. CST training management is an integrated system that ensures each CST is trained and ready to operate in response to a domestic terrorist attack and that training is sustained after certification. Leaders at all levels must ensure that such training is tough, realistic, and focused on mission requirements. All CST training is guided by the training management principles set forth in FMs 25-100 and 25-101, requirements of state and local emergency response plans, the concepts in the FRP for which FEMA is the proponent, and other appropriate doctrinal and training literature.



5-21. Planning links the unit mission analysis and the METL to the execution and evaluation of training.

5-22. The unit commander conducts a battle-focused analysis that provides the foundation for CST training. Training requirements will be driven by operational missions, thus narrowing the focus of training to an achievable number of critical tasks.



5-23. The unit METL is derived from an integrated analysis of local, state, regional and federal terrorism emergency response plans and directives. Training objectives are derived by establishing conditions and standards for each mission-essential task.

5-24. A critical CST task is a mission-essential task whose accomplishment will determine the success of the next higher echelon mission-essential task. These critical CST tasks are selected by the echelon affected.

5-25. CST METLs will be approved by TAG/state commanding general (CG) and forwarded, with supporting analysis to Chief, NGB, for coordination with applicable unified commands or the numbered Armies in CONUS to help guide resourcing and support of training.



5-26. CST METL training focuses on maintaining the capability to perform the collective tasks in the MTP, consistent with state and federal plans for which the CST is aligned.



5-27. The Chief, NGB, schedules operational cycles for certified CSTs on a regional basis, which will be outside the state/unit training cycle. CSTs not in an operational or national response cycle use guidelines from FM 25-101 (such as using the green-amber-red training time management system). Training and operational cycles will be based on the 12-month FY as the framework for planning. Through advance planning, the commander deconflicts his operational and training requirements to ensure that all mission requirements can be accomplished.

5-28. The phases shown below are a recommended adaptation of those specified in FM 25-101. Phases are of varying length as determined by the state/unit. Sequencing should consider when the unit is scheduled to be committed to an operational cycle.

    • Green. The green phase will be conducted by each CST at least once each FY. No support will be required by the NGB of a unit during its green phase. Green phase units focus on mission readiness through training in key METL-supporting collective, leader, and soldier tasks-all integrated through multiechelon and interagency training. Ordinary leaves and passes will not normally be scheduled during this phase, although selected individuals may be approved to attend MOSQ courses that overlap cycles or that cannot be scheduled during amber/red phases.
    • Amber. The amber phase should be conducted by each CST immediately prior to and after the green phase. It should feature section level METL training that is conducted in conjunction with state/local civil response agencies when possible. CSTs in this phase will be targeted for new equipment training (NET) and will be most subject to requests from NGB to participate in approved nonmission deployments, such as system tests and PA demonstrations.
    • Red. The red phase should focus on MOSQ IT, major system equipment maintenance, and meeting individual requests for leave and discretionary schooling. Opportunities to conduct section level training and local regional conferences and planning events should be sought and exploited when feasible.



5-29. Each certified CST in a green or amber training phase will plan, coordinate, and participate in at least one exercise or full-unit collective training event each month. Uncertified CSTs are encouraged to follow a similar pattern.

5-30. As the operational management concept for CST focuses each team on its home state first and, within the FEMA region in which it is based, second, unit commanders must incorporate information on appropriate local and regional laws, policies, plans, and METT-TC factors into the unit training program. Unit level section training and deployed exercises will address applying this information in an operational context.

5-31. The exercises will emphasize participation with local and state authorities, as well as take occasional advantage of national and joint military exercises. The exercises will be supported by outside agencies and scenarios that are consistent with supported OPLANs/emergency response plans.

5-32. The unit formal external evaluation, when it occurs, should be considered one of the required exercises, as should any external full-unit validation exercise or actual operational deployment.


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