News

News Release

No. 148-99
(703)695-0192(media)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 5, 1999 (703)697-5737(public/industry)

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ESTABLISHES A WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION ADVISORY PANEL

Secretary of Defense Williams S. Cohen has announced today the formation of an advisory panel, headed by Virginia Governor James Gilmore, to assess domestic response capabilities for terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

"The challenge of terrorism demands that we vigorously and continuously analyze and assess our federal, state and local response mechanisms," said Cohen. "As part of this ongoing effort, Congress has called for a panel of experts to review our current and future needs. I am confident that they will make an important and lasting contribution."

The WMD Advisory Panel will be a three-year effort and report its findings, conclusions and recommendations to the President and Congress. The advisory group will submit four reports during its tenure: an interim report within six months after the date of the first meeting, and three annual reports due in December, starting in 1999.

"It's an honor to lead this national study," Gilmore said. "The threat of terrorism is an evolving national and global issue that also has implications at the state and local levels. The nation as well as our states and communities must be better prepared to deter, respond to, and recover from an act of terrorism."

Congress directed the establishment of the panel in October 1998. The Department of Defense, in consultation with the Attorney General, the secretary of Energy, the secretary of Health and Human Services, and the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, contracted the RAND Corp. to support the group with a federally funded research and development center.

Specifically, the panel is charged with five responsibilities:

Assess federal agency efforts to enhance domestic preparedness for terrorism incidents involving WMD.

Assess the progress of federal training programs for local emergency responses to WMD incidents.

Assess deficiencies in programs for response to WMD incidents, including a review of unfunded communications, equipment, and planning requirements, and the need of maritime regions.

Recommended strategies for ensuring fully effective local response capabilities for WMD incidents.

Assess the appropriate roles of state and local governments in funding effective local response capabilities.

The panel will schedule its first meeting this spring. Members of the WMD Advisory Panel:

Gov. James S. Gilmore III of Virginia

Ambassador L. Paul Bremmer, former director for Counter-Terrorism, Department of State

Donald Rumsfeld, former secretary of Defense

Retired Army Maj. Gen. William F. Garrison, former commanding general, Joint Special Operations Command

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper Jr., former director, Defense Intelligence Agency

Ellen M. Gordon, president, National Emergency Management Association and administrator, Iowa Emergency Management Division

Patrick Ralston, executive director, Indiana Emergency Management Agency

George Foresman, deputy state coordinator, Virginia Department of Emergency Services

Raymond Downey, commander, Special Operations, City of New York Fire Department

William Jenaway, chief, King of Prussia, Pa., Fire Volunteer Department, and vice president of Risk Control, Reliance Insurance Co.

Paul Maniscalco, deputy chief, Emergency Medical Services, City of New York Fire Department and former president of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Reno, former senior vice president for Operations, American Red Cross

James Greenleaf, former associate deputy for Administration, Federal Bureau Investigation

Ron Neubauer, president, International Association of Chiefs of Police and chief of police, St. Peters, Mo.

James Q. Wilson, professor of Management, The John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Ken Shine, president, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences

Dr. M. Patricia Quinlisk, state epidemiologist/medical director, Iowa Department of Public Health

For more information, call Lt. Col. Terry Jones at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, (703) 695-3620, or visit the Reserve Affairs website at http://raweb.osd.mil.

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Apr1999/b04051999_bt148-99.html