September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Statement of General William F. Kernan, U.S. Army Commander in Chief United States Joint Forces Command Before the 107th Congress Committee on Armed Services United States Senate; October 25, 2001

Statement of
General William F. Kernan, U.S. Army
Commander in Chief
United States Joint Forces Command
Before the 107th Congress
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate
25 October 2001

Mr. Chairman, distinguished Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to address this panel on this most fundamental of military responsibilities, defense of our homeland. For the purposes of this testimony, Homeland Security comprises Homeland Defense and Military Assistance to Civil Authorities.

With over one million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines-some 80 percent of the Nation's general-purpose forces-U.S. Joint Forces Command stands ready to defend our homeland and provide trained and ready forces to combat terrorism worldwide. As the supported Command for the land and maritime defense and civil support aspects of Homeland Security, U.S. Joint Forces Command is responsible for defense against land and maritime aggression targeted at our territory, sovereignty, domestic population, and infrastructure, as well as directly supporting the lead federal agency in the management of the consequences of such aggression and other domestic civil support. These responsibilities are complementary to federal, state and local responsibilities and capabilities.

Additionally, we are pressing forward with our other mission areas of joint force training, integration, and experimentation with the overall objective to transform our Armed Forces to meet the unique challenges of the post-Cold War environment.

The 11 September 2001 attacks have put our Nation and our command on a wartime footing. This is a two-front war--at home and abroad. We are moving aggressively forward with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army as the Department's Executive Agent, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the other combatant commanders, and our national, state, and local governments to improve our collective ability to defend our homeland. Likewise, our deployed forces are actively defending the nation through their offensive actions overseas. Make no mistake, the status quo is not an option, and we are developing solutions to combat terrorism both at home and abroad.


Within minutes of the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center (WTC), our Joint Operations Center, which operates 24 hours per day, began notifying U.S. Joint Forces Command's senior leadership and coordinating with the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon as well as our component commanders (Atlantic Fleet, Air Combat Command, Marine Forces Atlantic, and Army Forces Command). Next, the command's operations director activated the Crisis Action Team and began assembling key decision makers and planners from throughout the command to respond as needed. This action began prior to the impact of the second aircraft into the WTC, which ultimately confirmed our suspicion that this was an act of terrorism. Actions taken were focused in two directions: the possible need for DoD resources to augment first responders, and the need to raise the threat condition and force protection levels to ensure the safety of military personnel and facilities in the United States.

Immediately after the terrorist attacks, U.S. Joint Forces Command rapidly responded to the air, maritime, and land force requirements for Operation NOBLE EAGLE. Atlantic Fleet ships and Air Combat Command tactical aircraft were deployed in support of North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) mission and responsibilities. Aegis-equipped ships were used to enhance the NORAD early warning radar system, two aircraft carriers were dispatched to provide sea-borne combat air patrol, and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit was placed on alert. The Joint Task Force - Civil Support was also marshaled and an assessment team dispatched to New York City to evaluate whether military resources were needed in the consequence management efforts and to coordinate support with the designated lead federal agency. Within six hours of the attack, federal authorities made their first request for DoD assistance, a request that was passed to U.S. Joint Forces Command by the Department of the Army's Director of Military Support (DOMS) for quick action. Also, our Service components postured forces to protect our critical military infrastructure. Concurrent with these domestic support efforts, trained and ready joint forces deployed, and continue to deploy, as part of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, to support the fight against terrorism abroad.

Support to civil authorities has been narrowly focused due in great part to the nature of the attacks on New York City and the Pentagon and the extent of New York City's robust response capability. However, it is clear that other localities might not have such robust and sustained capabilities in the face of a similar catastrophe. Clearly, we must be ready to provide responsive military support if required while striving for deterrence and prevention of future threats. There are numerous measures required to realize this posture, both at the military and interagency level.

In concert with ongoing operations and support, we initiated a comprehensive Homeland Security planning process working hand-in-hand with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff and my fellow combatant commanders. This planning effort additionally included extensive coordination and synchronization with the Services, our components, and relevant government agencies, including the National Guard Bureau.

As part of this effort, we organized and activated a 90-person Homeland Security Directorate from within the command, with a two-star Army general in charge, to oversee planning, organization and execution of our responsibilities towards Homeland Defense and Military Assistance to Civil Authorities. Leveraging the insights and concepts gained from our joint training and experimentation work, we are employing emerging concepts to organize, train and operate this new organization as a highly functional command and control headquarters to conduct Homeland Security.

These efforts have borne fruit as we take on responsibility for the land and maritime defense of our Nation. We are postured to execute our responsibilities in support of the national Homeland Security effort in accordance with the Secretary of Defense's direction. We are continuing to adapt ourselves for a sustained effort and to respond rapidly in support of civil authorities. In addition to the innovative organizational and operational approaches mentioned above, we are conducting parallel planning with the Joint Staff and our components to develop a Homeland Security Campaign plan. We have established liaison with the appropriate military, defense and select federal agencies and we are prepared to work in concert with them to execute the Homeland Security mission.

We have been in close coordination with the applicable unified commands, particularly with Admiral Denny Blair at U.S. Pacific Command and General Ed Eberhart at NORAD, to outline and discuss campaign plans for Homeland Defense. These efforts will continue, coordinating with Service components and other commands to refine details of a campaign plan and prepare necessary orders as additional guidance is received.

Finally, we are ready to provide command, control and assessment capabilities in response to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or enhanced high explosive incidents using Joint Task Force - Civil Support (JTF-CS), Regional Task Forces East and West, the Marine Chemical Biological Immediate Response Force, Weapons of Mass Destruction - Civil Support Teams (WMD-CST), and other forces as necessary. This will be discussed in greater detail later in this statement.


U.S. Joint Forces Command is currently working in support of DoD leadership to dynamically refocus national responsibilities for homeland defense and security. The goal is to coordinate all national security elements to ensure the best possible predictive capability and proactive response.

With this planning and command and control capability as a foundation, our components are protecting our critical military infrastructure. Likewise, after a careful review of applicable contingency plans and functional plans with our components, U.S. Joint Forces Command is ready to execute and support the National campaign to protect our country.

As the command responsible for the land and maritime defense of the continental United States, we work closely with many federal organizations to achieve unity of effort. Our key partners include the U.S. Coast Guard and the law enforcement community. In developing our ties to law enforcement, there has been much innovative and path breaking work since 11 September to share critical information while still safeguarding the liberties of American citizens. We have more work to do to achieve full intelligence fusion and gain a true measure of accurate, actionable, predictive analysis. That will enable all of us, in support of and led by law enforcement, to transition from today's posture of deter and respond to a more proactive stance of effective prevention.

In the area of military assistance to civil authorities, we are an active member of the federal response community, and coordinate with and support the various Federal response organizations, most notably the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These are long-standing ties and feature well practiced procedures previously used in support of Federal efforts to deal with the effects of wildfires, floods, and storms. Our partnerships in the area of military assistance are solid and well understood.

In light of these responsibilities, here is U.S. Joint Forces Command's posture for providing responsive support to the nation:

We have designated selected active duty ground forces as rapid reaction forces and placed them on increased readiness. These Army and Marine forces are stationed at bases that provide regional coverage throughout the continental United States. Our intent is to provide the President and the Secretary of Defense a flexible and responsive capability in the event of unexpected incidents. We have also designated necessary air transport from the Air Force's active, Guard, and Reserve C-130 fleet to enable these reaction forces to rapidly respond when requested to support local, state, or federal emergencies. We have exercised and trained these forces, and prepositioned aircraft at the Reaction Force departure airfields where they are ready to load now.

In our role as the joint force provider, U.S. Joint Forces Command is providing forces as tasked to support military operations overseas in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. We are prepared to provide naval forces in support of Coast Guard operations in ports and adjacent waters.

We provide Active and Reserve Component tactical aircraft to NORAD and, in partnership with Pacific Command, will provide maritime assets, if needed, to defend our coasts.

We are also identifying additional support forces, such as chemical and biological detection and defense units, many of which reside in the Reserve Component, which might require mobilization to maintain the appropriate capabilities.

We have worked closely with local, state, and federal authorities to be ready. I have met personally with Lieutenant General Russ Davis, Chief of the National Guard Bureau and Admiral Jim Loy, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard to discuss how best to integrate National Guard, Coast Guard, and Active and Reserve forces to secure our homeland. They have sent liaison officers to U.S. Joint Forces Command, who are integrated into our planning and operations, and our respective staffs are working closely to ensure a seamless response to any event.


U.S. Joint Forces Command also has the responsibility to provide Military Assistance to Civil Authorities. Along with traditional assistance to local, state, and federal agencies in the event of natural disasters or civil disturbances-which we have planned and organized for previously-we are also charged with providing Consequence Management support.

Consequence Management is a critical task and for that purpose we had previously formed and trained a standing joint task force headquarters called Joint Task Force-Civil Support (JTF-CS). Joint Task Force-Civil Support is a command and control headquarters ready to respond today to support the lead federal agency in the event of an attack by weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Let me outline the genesis of Joint Task Force - Civil Support and clarify what it is and what it is not. The 1999 Unified Command Plan (UCP) assigned U.S. Joint Forces Command the responsibility for planning and executing Military Assistance to Civil Authorities for Consequence Management of weapons of mass destruction within the Continental U.S. The 1999 UCP also tasked U.S. Joint Forces Command with responsibility for consequence management response to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosives (CBRNE) for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Southern Command were given responsibility for CBRNE consequence management within their respective Areas of Responsibility; U.S. Joint Forces Command provides support to them as necessary for their Consequence Management missions. Joint Task Force - Civil Support was activated in 1999, and following a rigorous training and validation process, JTF-CS achieved full mission capability in April 2000. It is currently authorized 36 personnel with a requested growth to 103 by 2003. In light of current conditions, and in order to maintain a continuous 24-hour response, I have authorized through assignment and augmentation the expansion of the headquarters to 164 personnel.

Joint Task Force - Civil Support has the mission to command and control all DoD assets deployed to mitigate the effects of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high yield Explosives-incident, in order to save lives, prevent injury and provide temporary critical life support. I want to emphasize that JTF-CS is not a lead agency nor does it provide a first response capability. Joint Task Force - Civil Support's mission is to provide command and control of military forces in support of the designated lead federal agency, for example, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Joint Task Force - Civil Support's primary functions also include consequence management support to National Special Security Events such as the State of the Union address last February.

As envisioned, JTF-CS was designed to be a command and control headquarters without assigned forces, organic communications, or dedicated transportation. Required forces, communications and transportation assets are allocated as the mission dictates. We are taking steps to allocate forces to habitually train and work with JTF-CS. It has the normal staff organizations you would expect, with the addition of an Interagency Coordination Element, comprising seven personnel to include a U.S. Coast Guardsman, that is the conduit for working with federal agencies. This coordination element interfaces regularly with FEMA Headquarters and FEMA regions as well as the Department of Health and Human Services.

Joint Task Force - Civil Support has developed detailed force requirements for a variety of likely consequence management contingencies. These requirements include communications and transportation units, as well as service support, engineers, medical, aviation and specialty units like the National Guard Civil Support Teams (CST). The Service components are working through sourcing for these contingency packages to facilitate joint training and exercises to maximize proficiency. With forces allocated based on the mission, the headquarters is ready for employment, but needs more depth. It is a "one of a kind" organization. With that in mind, we are assessing its current structure and whether a second JTF-CS organization is required. To further unity of effort between the varieties of forces that may potentially be involved in providing support to a CBRNE incident, JTF-CS has directly coordinated with a wide array of federal, state, local, and military organizations to conduct training and planning.

As you can see, U.S. Joint Forces Command has aggressively moved forward since we received the Military Assistance to Civil Authority mission as outlined in the 1999 UCP.


Another critical asset in Homeland Security are the National Guard WMD-CSTs. These teams immediately deploy to the incident site to (1) assess a suspected nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological event in support of the local incident commander (2) advise civilian responders regarding appropriate actions and (3) facilitate requests for assistance to expedite arrival of additional state and federal assets to help save lives, prevent human suffering, and mitigate property damage. The WMD-CSTs are National Guard assets that are manned, trained, and equipped by their respective states. We currently are funded for 32 WMD-CSTs, of which ten have been certified by the Secretary of Defense (in Washington, Colorado, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Missouri, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Georgia). Seventeen are in various levels of training and equipping (not yet ready for certification); five still need to be activated. We eventually expect to have a certified WMD-CST in each U.S. state and in all U.S. territories. Joint Forces Command is tasked only with training and readiness oversight of the WMD-CSTs and does not assume that responsibility until a WMD-CST receives Secretary of Defense certification. We are working closely with the National Guard Bureau and the states where those teams reside to standardize their training, tactics, techniques and procedures.


As our President stated, this is a war "unlike any other." It demands fresh approaches and new thinking. We are and have been working on just such innovative joint operational concepts. With our redesignation as U.S. Joint Forces Command on 1 October 1999, we assumed the responsibility to lead the transformation of the U.S. Armed Forces to achieve dominance across the width, depth, and breadth of any battlespace. That means that whether in peace, conflict, or war, anywhere on the spectrum of operations, we will fight and defeat any adversary. Our command is focused on achieving that objective, and the events of the last month, both at home and abroad, have shown that we must accelerate those efforts. We need today's forces to get to the objective area quicker, dominate the situation, and win decisively. Comprised of highly trained, competent units and leaders, those forces need to operate with agility, versatility, precision and lethality.

Combating terrorism, protecting the homeland, and transformation are inextricably linked. We are working today with ENDURING FREEDOM's joint warfighters to rapidly operationalize the innovative ideas we have been working on through our joint concept development and experimentation program. The war on terrorism cannot be won with legacy means alone. Development of advanced techniques, tools, and organizations for these challenges require new thinking and aggressive experimentation to develop alternatives for the future joint force.

For more than a year, U.S. Joint Forces Command has been working on proposals for transformation that can directly address the operational requirements we face today. Our most recent experiment on advanced concepts, Unified Vision 2001 last May, envisioned a set of conditions similar to those we face today. The intellectual foundation for dealing with these new conditions should put us in the position of being able to more rapidly operationalize our best concepts.

Converting these concepts into operational capabilities is now our challenge. As we task organize our command for its role in winning this war, we are also integrating many of our new ideas into our organization and operations. Our execution of the Homeland Security mission, and the fight against terrorism abroad, will be built around the doctrinal, organizational, and technical findings that come from our transformational efforts.

Our efforts to date have set the conditions for unified transformation activities to take place across the Services and the Joint Force. Our concept development and experimentation efforts over the past two years have established the common joint context for service concept development, have facilitated collaborative concept development across the Services, and have synchronized the joint and service experimentation programs.

Further, I think that these insights are compelling and have immediate application. As I mentioned earlier, we leveraged these concepts to guide our efforts to stand up our Homeland Security Directorate and guide development of our Homeland Security Campaign Plan. But in all of this, we have to remember the basics. War remains close, personal, and brutal. There is no silver bullet that can change that. There have been revolutions in how we fight . . . Gunpowder, nuclear weapons, and computers. But in the end, it still comes down to our willingness and capability to decisively defeat our enemy. It's never safe, easy, or risk-free. The enemy sees to that. Today while I talk to you, there are people flying, sailing, and standing in harm's way, under enemy guns, at night, and far from America. Our national will, combined with their spirit and tenacious commitment, will define our success. I look forward to working with you to give our troops what they need.

In closing Mr. Chairman, the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines of U.S. Joint Forces Command are ready to defend our homeland and are deploying to fight terrorism abroad. We are acting now, and ready to do more. Each day, we improve our capabilities, refine our plans and increase our Homeland Security capabilities while providing trained, ready, and-over time-fundamentally transformed forces for combat operations against terrorism.

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