Last October I was talking to an acquaintance of mine who is a high ranking Missouri National Guard soldier. As we talked over coffee he starts to talk about how he wouldn’t trust anything electronic right now. What do you mean? I asked him.CB
He proceeded to talk about a meeting he was called into over the weekend with the Missouri Adjutant General, one that involved all the Missouri National Guard commands in the state. He said they were worried about North Korean EMP weapons. I got the impression the meeting may have been prompted from higher up but he didn’t specify.
He then warned, I better have some food stored and a way to cook it, said he personally went out and bought 6 months worth supplies for him and his household.
As he talked, told me to remember the term of ‘Focus Units’ I think he said “line” focus units, units that can be ready at a moment’s notice and that’s what they are calling them at this time, at least for the National Guard.
You should understand it is very unusual to have National Guard units to be prepared in advance. Usually when units are called up we go through several months of training and get issued new equipment at that time if it’s needed.
It reminded me of another National Guard soldier I know. He had been telling me about all the new equipment they were getting in the Guard.
Units in the Mo Guard are being issued brand new M-4 rifles along with brand new Aimpoint red dot scopes. They are also receiving several brand new M-2 .50 cal machine guns, M-240B 7.62mm NATO light machine guns, and M-249 SAW 5.56 NATO light machine guns. Brand new M-320 grenade launchers (pictured above mounted on an M4 rifle) as well. In addition to the new weapons they are receiving New NVG’s and M-4 mountable thermal scopes.
I filed it all in the back in my memory bank as a little odd. It’s not too unusual for the National Guard to be prepared, but it is somewhat unusual for so much money to be spent on National Guard units. Generally the new equipment goes to active duty units, and the National Guard gets the active duty leftovers.
This week I noticed something unusual on the Missouri National Guard’s website. In the job listings are several listings for volunteers to serve for 5 to 7 months on something called the Missouri National Guard Homeland Response Force (HRF). The ‘in country’ deployment dates are 01Feb-30Apr 2018 with tour ending 30SEP 2018. Here is a link to one of the job listings but it closes in late Jan and will probably be taken down then. The various jobs were open only to National Guard members, all MOS’s (military jobs) ranks E4 up to O3 (enlisted and officers).
Do these jobs have anything to do with the “Focus Units”? I asked around and nobody seemed to know. I also asked around as to what exactly is the “Homeland Response Force” Again nobody seemed to know. So I did some digging and found a document from the Rand Corp. written in 2010. National Guard document on the same.
“SecDef has approved the implementation of a plan to restructure the CCMRFs which includes an integrated state response capability based on the CSTs, CERFPs and the standup of 10 NG Regional Homeland Response Forces (HRFs) ‐ one per FEMA regional. These geographically distributed HRFs will improve the ability of DoD to quickly respond in case of a major or catastrophic CBRNE CM event by providing the necessary life saving capabilities to the incident area within hours vice days. The NG is committed to providing this capability to the DoD, the Governors of the 54 states and territories and the American people.”
Yes it states 54 states.
Here are the Acronym translations from FEMA:
CCMRF- Consequence Management Response Force
CST- Civil Support Team (National Guard–for WMD)
CERFP- Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP)
NG- National Guard
FEMA- Federal Emergency Management Agency
DoD- Department of Defense
CBRNE-CM- Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or High-Yield Explosive – Consequence Management
According to the Rand Doc, a Homeland Response Force:
“When directed the NG Homeland Response Force (HRF) alerts, assembles and deploys to save lives and mitigate human suffering and prepares for follow-on forces.”
“The HRFs mission is simple – conduct operations to save lives and to reduce human suffering in the event of a CBRNE incident”
It goes on to describe a 48 hour response to any emergency including Nuclear, biological, chemical and/or explosive events. There are 10 HRF’s each responsible for their respective FEMA region.
Even though I was unable to find anyone within the Mo Guard who knew what this unit was all about, a simple Google search showed me they are nothing new.
In 2010 Congressman Ike Skelton (retired) announced them to the state, and they have had several training exercises. Here is a Department of Defense announcement about them as well. But why now? Is this anything unusual, or is it just training as usual.
This time the Homeland Response Force will be on a 6 month deployment inside Missouri, I wonder if they will be activated for the other FEMA regions as well.
In Matthew 24 Jesus told us:
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
This could be nothing more than a rumor.
This could be nothing more than just good old fashioned preparedness.
I didn’t need my friend to tell me to store extra food, as this is something I have told people for years. It’s good to be reminded of it though. I did feel somewhat vindicated because several years ago whenever I brought the subject up people treated me like a “doomsday prepper”. It never hurts to be prepared, a lesson I learned in a particularly bad ice storm we had several years back. I had not stored extra food before that, but have ever since.
Do yourself a favor, store some extra food and water for you and your family. It may be up to 48 hours or more for the National Guard to save you.