Magazine article National Defense

Specialized Chem-Bio Unit to Fully Stand Up in 2011

Magazine article National Defense

Specialized Chem-Bio Unit to Fully Stand Up in 2011

Article excerpt

The Defense Department last year stood up the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive consequence management response force in order to beef up the nation's ability to respond to such attacks.

The first unit now numbers between 4,500 and 5,000 personnel. Two more units will be begin operations in 2010 and 2011, said Capt. Michael Collins, chief of staff for the joint task force for civil support.

Members from all four services comprise CCMRF and participants rotate in and out during dwell times. Last year the engineering capability came from the Navy and this year it comes from an Air Force squadron, Collins said. It is under the leadership of the San Antonio, Texas-based Joint Force Land Component Command, U.S. Army North.

The Marine Corps has a unit with similar capabilities--the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, or CBIRF--but the new organization will be nearly 40 times larger and can perform large-scale logistics tasks that would otherwise exhaust CBIRF, officials said.

In an emergency, CCMRF would conduct search-and-rescue missions, extract casualties or decontaminate victims after a nuclear, chemical or biological attack. …

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