New military command seeks civilian managers

The U.S. military’s new homeland defense command will need more than 100 new civilian managers skilled in dealing with weapons of mass destruction, the Defense Department recently told Congress.

The U.S. military's new homeland defense command will need more than 100 new civilian managers skilled in dealing with weapons of mass destruction and other related specialties, the Defense Department recently told Congress.

The U.S. Northern Command, scheduled to begin operations Oct. 1, originally planned to recruit civilian personnel from other agencies and military commands to help respond to a WMD attack and coordinate disaster recovery efforts.

In a message to lawmakers late last month, however, the Pentagon said the necessary skilled personnel may not be available in time from other commands to address what is intended to be one of the new outfit's primary missions-preparing for and responding to a chemical, biological or radiological attack on the United States.

"Civilian personnel in these skill areas may not be available from other combatant command headquarters' reductions in the near term, and USNORTHCOM [the Northern Command] cannot wait to fill these civilian billets," said a July 29 letter to congressional defense committees from the Pentagon office of legislative affairs. "In order to minimize adverse actions at other unified commands, a total of 118 new civilian billets are required to meet the planned full operational capability date of Oct. 1, 2003."

The Defense Department, in its fiscal 2003 budget request, has asked Congress for $41 million as part of the Defense Emergency Response Fund to pay for the new hires and to improve communications and training at the new command, to be located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. So far the House has approved the request, while the Senate cut it by $14 million. The two bodies will iron out a final version of the defense bill when they return from the August recess.

The plea for a new team of civilians at the Northern Command underlines the priority given to the threat of chemical, biological and radiological weapons at what will be the first active-duty U.S. military command responsible for defense of the continental United States. Because the active-duty military is prohibited from operating inside U.S. borders, support to domestic authorities in the event of a catastrophic terrorist attack would rely heavily on the National Guard-the state militias-as well as Pentagon civilians with unique expertise in the field.

"The civilian workforce is vital to providing long-term technical skills and expertise in areas where the military cannot, such as consequence management, chemical/biological defense, law enforcement, weapons of mass destruction proliferation, disaster recovery and interagency coordination," according to the Pentagon's request.

The Northern Command, to be headed by Air Force Gen. Ralph Eberhart, is being designed with the WMD threat as a primary focus. A major benefit of the new command-which will also include the North American Air Defense Command but will not have combat forces permanently assigned to it-will be its ability to plan for and respond to catastrophes, particularly terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction, according to a senior Pentagon official.

"We will, in fact, have a command that has been planning on how to deal with that, knows what kind of resources and forces must be brought to bear on the problem, knows how to get them there and can handle the range of responses," Peter Verga, who directs the Pentagon's Homeland Security Task Force, said earlier this month.

For example, Northern Command will oversee 32 weapons of mass destruction civil support teams made up of the National Guard and located throughout the country. Eberhart told Congress in June that one of his first activities would be to determine if more teams are needed and whether they should be outfitted with additional skills and equipment.

Also set to fall under the Northern Command is the Joint Forces Headquarters Homeland Security, based in Norfolk, Va., and including 130 civilian and military personnel. Two subordinate units to the Joint Force Headquarters, the Joint Task Force Civil Support, based at Ft. Monroe, Va., and the military's counterdrug Joint Task Force-6, based at Ft. Bliss, Texas, will also be folded into the new homeland security command.

"The department opposes the Senate reduction for USNORTHCOM headquarters civilian manpower associated with the creation of the new command because USNORTHCOM has an immediate requirement for a cadre of highly experienced civilian personnel who possess certain skills and must be an exception," the Pentagon said in urging congressional action.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.