Joint Task Force Homeland Defense
Participates in NSSE ROC Drill

By JTF-HD Public Affairs

Fort Shafter, HAWAII – If you think coordinating a National Security Special Event (NSSE) is easy, you're wrong. The roll call of basic responsibilities can be overwhelming in itself. That's why Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD) and Joint Task Force Kupa'a train and practice so diligently.

Members of JTF-HD, JTF-Kupa'a, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC), and the 9th Mission Support Command (MSC) converged recently to 'test the waters' and see if they were indeed ready to handle the rigorous requirements involved in dealing with an NSSE. The rehearsal of concept (ROC) drill was designed to demonstrate the full operational capability of all units combined. "With the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit approaching we need to be at our best," said Mr. Mel Garcia, JTF-HD Deputy J3. "There are so many moving parts involved and it takes a great deal of training amongst all participants to achieve a successful result," added Garcia.

(Left) Rehearsal of Concept (ROC) drill senior leadership Army Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, Maj. Gen. Joe Chaves, and Brig. Gen. Gary Hara confer during the drill. (Official U.S. Army photo by Darrell D. Ames) (Center) Army Lt. Col. Al Ostermiller served as event spokesperson during the ROC drill (Official U.S. Army photo by Darrell D. Ames) (Right) Interagency members observe the rehearsal of concept (ROC) events. (Official U.S. Army photo by Darrell D. Ames)

The list of participants include the Department of Defense (DoD); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); United States Secret Service (USSS); United States Pacific Command (PACOM); Hawaii National Guard (HING); and other federal, state, city and county agencies. "It was a virtual 'who's who?' in regards to the people we worked with during the event," said Army Lt. Col. Shane Elkins, JTF-HD Chief of Operations. "It was a pleasure working alongside and interacting with such a team of professionals at the highest level. All forces were flexible and adapted quite well," Elkins said.

The ROC drill included subordinate task forces running through a series of scenarios including steady state, civil disturbance/ crisis response, and chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear (CBRN) in order to demonstrate that their assigned forces were prepared to respond accordingly. But possibly of even more importance, the ROC drill was a rehearsal for commander, JTF-Kupa'a to validate and synchronize the dual status command's concept of operations (CONOP) for the upcoming APEC event.

This was the final preparatory training opportunity for JTF-Kupa'a to attain and demonstrate full operational capability (FOC) prior to the event. It also served as the culminating training event for the JTF to validate the readiness of their blended staff and subordinate task force commanders to execute their DOD support missions in support of the state and primary agencies of the U.S. government. "The upcoming NSSE is a no-fail event," said Garcia. "We practice all domain situational awareness, plans, and interagency coordination on a routine basis. Our military personnel and civilians participate by facilitating these roles and establishing an atmosphere for success," Garcia added. The drill's mission was to 'validate the roles and responsibilities of staffs and maneuver forces across an operational timeline in order to define key decision points and gaps associated with the pre-scripted mission assignments of security and CBRNE support to the NSSE.'

The dual status command for the NSSE, JTF-Kupa'a, rehearsed its NSSE concept of operations using an established synchronization matrix in order to identify and validate key roles and responsibilities by organizations across an operational timeline. The ROC drill as conducted in three phases in accordance with those concept of operations. Phase one, security, involved the execution of DOD steady state security missions in support of the United States Secret Service (USSS) as the lead agency. Phase two involved crisis response and phase three was concerned with consequence management. "The primary purpose of all this was to train, de-conflict, refine, and synchronize the command and control and operational procedures required to support the dual status commander and civil authorities for the NSSE," Elkins said.

Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD) maintains situational awareness of all domains within the JTF-HD Joint Operations Area; executes mission command of assigned forces in the land domain to conduct Homeland Defense operations to deter and defeat threats to critical infrastructure and key resources and when requested/validated, conducts Civil Support operations in response to all hazards to mitigate human suffering and reduce infrastructure damage.