CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force

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Under a new organization introduced in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, the CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force is a revised approach to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High Yield Explosives (CBRNE) emergency management by the National Guard and regular U.S. Army. The reorganization is intended to ease the transition from state to federal control, as well as improving response time and resources.[1] When under Federal control, they would be subordinate to the Joint Task Force-Civil Support (JTF-CS) of the United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM).[2] JTF-CS responsibilities do not stop at the U.S. border, but are available to support Canada, and Canadian Forces may assist in U.S. contingencies.

Christine Wormuth, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, said "The first major change that we made is the decision to essentially go from a three CCMRF plan to a single CCMRF plan with other complimentary pieces." she said.

With the new plan, said Wormuth, the CCMRF will be a larger organization and will have a quicker response time. With the earlier organization, response time was 96 hours, but the new structure will have a 24 hour response with 2,000 troops and 3,000 more within 48 hours. The existing two CCMRFs will be restructured into command and control elements. She explained "One of the important requirements that we identified, and that we previously identified, frankly, was the need to be able to respond to multiple, simultaneous events. We felt strongly that we needed to have a federal ability to command and control multiple, simultaneous events." The assumption was there would be a single active-duty military pool of responders, with additional command and control elements. In addition, National Guard Homeland Response Force, of approximately 560 personnel, in each of the ten Federal Emergency Management Agency regions.

In most cases, the HRF would remain under state control. "We felt it was important to recognize the political reality that nine times out of 10 an event is going to be controlled at the state level by the governor, and as a result, we really needed to rebalance our DoD forces to reflect that reality and be able to work in any number of those scenarios...Under this new CBRNE consequence management enterprise, you can envision that HRFs might respond to some incidents and work for the governors in state active duty or Title 32 status for some events that are more manageable in size. For larger events, you can envision two chains of command where you have the HRFs, and others being employed by the governor, working alongside Title 10 forces that are being employed by (United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM)." If necessary, however, both CCMRFs and HRFs could be federalized.

Wormuth said the regional HRFs could deploy in 6-12 hours. It is not clear if they will be CBRNE only or could respond to major natural disasters.


  1. Jon Soucy (24 March 2010), DoD relooks at plans for Guard response capabilities, U.S. Army
  2. Christopher Hale (30 March 2010), Quiet mission of Joint Task Force – Civil Support, Joint Task Force - Civil Support Public Affairs