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IV. Concept of operations.

A. Mission

The overall Lead Federal Agency, in conjunction with the lead agencies for crisis and consequence management response, and State and local authorities where appropriate, will notify, activate, deploy and employ Federal resources in response to a threat or act of terrorism. Operations will be conducted in accordance with statutory authorities and applicable plans and procedures, as modified by the policy guidelines established in PDD-39 and PDD-62. The overall LFA will continue operations until the crisis is resolved. Operations under the CONPLAN will then stand down, while operations under other Federal plans may continue to assist State and local governments with recovery.

B. Command and Control

Command and control of a terrorist threat or incident is a critical function that demands a unified framework for the preparation and execution of plans and orders. Emergency response organizations at all levels of government may manage command and control activities somewhat differently depending on the organization's history, the complexity of the crisis, and their capabilities and resources. Management of Federal, State and local response actions must, therefore, reflect an inherent flexibility in order to effectively address the entire spectrum of capabilities and resources across the United States. The resulting challenge is to integrate the different types of management systems and approaches utilized by all levels of government into a comprehensive and unified response to meet the unique needs and requirements of each incident.

1. Consequence Management

State and local consequence management organizations are generally structured to respond to an incident scene using a modular, functionally-oriented ICS that can be tailored to the kind, size and management needs of the incident. ICS is employed to organize and unify multiple disciplines with multi-jurisdictional responsibilities on-scene under one functional organization. State and local emergency operations plans generally establish direction and control procedures for their agencies' response to disaster situations. The organization's staff is built from a "top-down" approach with responsibility and authority placed initially with an Incident Commander who determines which local resources will be deployed. In many States, State law or local jurisdiction ordinances will identify by organizational position the person(s) that will be responsible for serving as the incident commander. In most cases, the incident commander will come from the State or local organization that has primary responsibility for managing the emergency situation.

When the magnitude of a crisis exceeds the capabilities and resources of the local incident commander or multiple jurisdictions become involved in order to resolve the crisis situation, the ICS command function can readily evolve into a Unified Command (see Figure 1). Under Unified Command, a multi-agency command post is established incorporating officials from agencies with jurisdictional responsibility at the incident scene. Multiple agency resources and personnel will then be integrated into the ICS as the single overall response management structure at the incident scene.


Multi-agency coordination to provide resources to support on-scene operations in complex or multiple incidents is the responsibility of emergency management. In the emergency management system, requests for resources are filled at the lowest possible level of government. Requests that exceed available capabilities are progressively forwarded until filled, from a local Emergency Operations Center (EOC), to a State EOC, to Federal operations centers at the regional or national level.

State assistance may be provided to local governments in responding to a terrorist threat or recovering from the consequences of a terrorist incident as in any natural or man-made disaster. The governor, by State law, is the chief executive officer of the State or commonwealth and has full authority to discharge the duties of his office and exercise all powers associated with the operational control of the State's emergency services during a declared emergency. State agencies are responsible for ensuring that essential services and resources are available to the local authorities and Incident Commander when requested. When State assistance is provided, the local government retains overall responsibility for command and control of the emergency operations, except in cases where State or Federal statutes transfer authority to a specific State or Federal agency. State and local governments have primary responsibility for consequence management. FEMA, using the FRP, directs and coordinates all Federal response efforts to manage the consequences in domestic incidents, for which the President has declared, or expressed an intent to declare, an emergency.

2. Crisis Management

As the lead agency for crisis management, the FBI manages a crisis situation from an FBI command post or JOC, bringing the necessary assets to respond and resolve the threat or incident. These activities primarily coordinate the law enforcement actions responding to the cause of the incident with State and local agencies.

During a crisis situation, the FBI Special Agent In Charge (SAC) of the local Field Division will establish a command post to manage the threat based upon a graduated and flexible response. This command post structure generally consists of three functional groups, Command, Operations, and Support, and is designed to accommodate participation of other agencies, as appropriate (see Figure 2). When the threat or incident exceeds the capabilities and resources of the local FBI Field Division, the SAC can request additional resources from the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group, located at Quantico, VA, to augment existing crisis management capabilities. In a terrorist threat or incident that may involve a WMD, the traditional FBI command post is expanded into a JOC incorporating a fourth functional entity, the Consequence Management Group.


Requests for DOD assistance for crisis management during the incident come from the Attorney General to the Secretary of Defense through the DOD Executive Secretary. Once the Secretary has approved the request, the order will be transmitted either directly to the unit involved or through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

C. Unification of Federal, State and Local Response

1. Introduction

Throughout the management of the terrorist incident, crisis and consequence management components will operate concurrently (see Figure 3). The concept of operations for a Federal response to a terrorist threat or incident provides for the designation of an LFA to ensure multi-agency coordination and a tailored, time-phased deployment of specialized Federal assets. It is critical that all participating Federal, State, and local agencies interact in a seamless manner.


2. National Level Coordination

The complexity and potential catastrophic consequences of a terrorist event will require application of a multi-agency coordination system at the Federal agency headquarters level. Many critical on-scene decisions may need to be made in consultation with higher authorities. In addition, the transfer of information between the headquarters and field levels is critical to the successful resolution of the crisis incident.

Upon determination of a credible threat, FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ) will activate its Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC) to coordinate and manage the national level support to a terrorism incident. At this level, the SIOC will generally mirror the JOC structure operating in the field. The SIOC is staffed by liaison officers from other Federal agencies that are required to provide direct support to the FBI, in accordance with PDD-39. The SIOC performs the critical functions of coordinating the Federal response and facilitating Federal agency headquarters connectivity. Affected Federal agencies will operate headquarters-level emergency operations centers, as necessary.

Upon notification by the FBI of a credible terrorist threat, FEMA may activate its Catastrophic Disaster Response Group. In addition, FEMA will activate the Regional Operations Center and Emergency Support Team, as required.

3. Field Level Coordination

During a terrorist incident, the organizational structure to implement the Federal response at the field level is the JOC. The JOC is established by the FBI under the operational control of the Federal OSC, and acts as the focal point for the strategic management and direction of on-site activities, identification of State and local requirements and priorities, and coordination of the Federal response. The local FBI field office will activate a Crisis Management Team to establish the JOC, which will be in the affected area, possibly collocated with an existing emergency operations facility. Additionally, the JOC will be augmented by outside agencies, including representatives from the DEST (if deployed), who provide interagency technical expertise as well as inter-agency continuity during the transition from an FBI command post structure to the JOC structure.

Similar to the Area Command concept within the ICS, the JOC is established to ensure inter-incident coordination and to organize multiple agencies and jurisdictions within an overall command and coordination structure. The JOC includes the following functional groups: Command, Operations, Admin/Logistics, and Consequence Management (see Figure 4). Representation within the JOC includes officials from local, State and Federal agencies with specific roles in crisis and consequence management.


The Command Group of the JOC is responsible for providing recommendations and advice to the Federal OSC regarding the development and implementation of strategic decisions to resolve the crisis situation and for approving the deployment and employment of resources. In this scope, the members of the Command Group play an important role in ensuring the coordination of Federal crisis and consequence management functions. The Command Group is composed of the FBI Federal OSC and senior officials with decision making authority from local, State, and Federal agencies, as appropriate, based upon the circumstances of the threat or incident. Strategies, tactics and priorities are jointly determined within this group. While the FBI retains authority to make Federal crisis management decisions at all times, operational decisions are made cooperatively to the greatest extent possible. The FBI Federal OSC and the senior FEMA official at the JOC will provide, or obtain from higher authority, an immediate resolution of conflicts in priorities for allocation of critical Federal resources between the crisis and consequence management responses.

A FEMA representative coordinates the actions of the JOC Consequence Management Group, and expedites activation of a Federal consequence management response should it become necessary. FBI and FEMA representatives will screen threat/incident intelligence for the Consequence Management Group. The JOC Consequence Management Group monitors the crisis management response in order to advise on decisions that may have implications for consequence management, and to provide continuity should a Federal consequence management response become necessary.

Should the threat of a terrorist incident become imminent, the JOC Consequence Management Group may forward recommendations to the ROC Director to initiate limited pre-deployment of assets under the Stafford Act. Authority to make decisions regarding FRP operations rests with the ROC Director until an FCO is appointed. The senior FEMA official in the JOC ensures appropriate coordination between FRP operations and the JOC Command Group.

4. On-Scene Coordination

Once a WMD incident has occurred (with or without a pre-release crisis period), local government emergency response organizations will respond to the incident scene and appropriate notifications to local, State, and Federal authorities will be made. Control of this incident scene will be established by local response authorities (likely a senior fire or law enforcement official). Command and control of the incident scene is vested with the Incident Commander/Unified Command. Operational control of assets at the scene is retained by the designated officials representing the agency (local, State, or Federal) providing the assets. These officials manage tactical operations at the scene in coordination with the UC as directed by their agency counterparts at field-level operational centers, if used. As mutual aid partners, State and Federal responders arrive to augment the local responders. The incident command structure that was initially established will likely transition into a Unified Command (UC). This UC structure will facilitate both crisis and consequence management activities. The UC structure used at the scene will expand as support units and agency representatives arrive to support crisis and consequence management operations. On-scene consequence management activities will be supported by the local and State EOC, which will be augmented by the ROC or Disaster Field Office, and the Emergency Support Team, as appropriate.

When Federal resources arrive at the scene, they will operate as a Forward Coordinating Team (FCT). The senior FBI representative will join the Unified Command group while the senior FEMA representative will coordinate activity of Federal consequence management liaisons to the Unified Command. On-scene Federal crisis management resources will be organized into a separate FBI Crisis Management Branch within the Operations Section, and an FBI representative will serve as Deputy to the Operations Section Chief. Federal consequence management resources will assist the appropriate ICS function, as directed (see Figure 5).


Throughout the incident, the actions and activities of the Unified Command at the incident scene and the Command Group of the JOC will be continuously and completely coordinated.
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Title Annotation:management of internal security
Publication:CONPLAN - U.S. Government Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Previous Article:III. Situation.
Next Article:V. Phasing of the federal response.

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