Table of Contents

Guardlife - Volume 31 No. 5

The NJNG's Role In Homeland Security
By Maj. Jeff Brownlee, Homeland Security Center of Excellence Photos by Sgt. 1st Class Robert Stephenson, NJDMAVA/PA

Specialists Ryan Dillon (left) and Dan Tinkler, HSCOE Members monitor the Guard's response.t’s Jan. 11, 2006 and, National Weather Service has predicted a Nor’Easter to hit the State of New Jersey. The storm will produce blizzard conditions across the entire state starting on the 13th of January.

The storm is expected to cause power outages, a storm surge along the southern coast, close roads and shut the state down for a few days.

If this had been a real event, the following would take place: having been apprised of the above information, the New Jersey National Guard Command Group would reach out to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) which is run by the New Jersey State Police, to coordinate any possible involvement of Guard resources. Because the New Jersey National Guard is not the lead agency in Emergency Management, it is the responsibility of the State Police and NJOEM to determine if any National Guard assets will be needed during the upcoming emergency. In the event that they are needed, the Command Group prepares a proposed Course of Action.

Once the plans are finalized, they are integrated into a Warning Order which is given to the Guard Force Commanders and their staff. The Guard Force Commanders then develop their Operations Orders and activate their Task Forces to support potential missions based on the storm. One of the first to be called into action would be members of the Quick Reaction Force (QRF), which is a contingent of traditional drilling National Guard Soldiers who are on standby status throughout the state and are available to muster and report for duty in the event of an emergency. While this is occurring, the State and County Offices of Emergency Management are being activated, the New Jersey National Guard Joint Operations Center (JOC) is being activated, the Liaison Officers (LNO) of the New Jersey National Guard Joint Force Headquarters report to the NJOEM and potentially County LNO’s are reporting to County OEM’s.

As mentioned earlier, the National Guard receives all of its Military Support to Civil Authorities (MSCA) missions from the NJOEM. Missions originate at the local level and are fed to the County OEMs. If the county can support the mission it ends there. If they cannot support the mission it is elevated to the state OEM. The state OEM is staffed by every state agency to include the National Guard. If the mission requires Guard assets the LNO contacts the JOC.

Once the JOC receives a mission from the OEM it is then tasked to a Guard Force to action the mission. This process is repeated throughout the duration of the event.
This process is the same for both Natural Disasters and Man-Made disasters. Recent events in New Orleans and Mississippi illustrate how important the National Guard role is when faced with a massive natural disaster. The key component to the success of any MSCA mission is the individual Soldiers and Airmen dedicated to the New Jersey National Guard.