Gearing Up the Civilian Response Corps

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 6, 2009
Armored Vehicle Travels Through Helmand Province in Afghanistan

About the Authors: Elizabeth Minor works for the Coordinator for Reconstruction & Stabilization at the Department of State and Matt Shugert works in the Office of Civilian Response at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Civilian Response Corps is gearing up – literally. With over 500 Standby members recruited and 50 new Active members hired (with 200 more on the way), the initiative is moving full steam ahead. However, recruiting, hiring, and training these rapid responders is only half of the story. The men and women of the Civilian Response Corps will be deployed to some of the most isolated and restricted overseas locations and will need specialized equipment to support them in the field.

The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development are purchasing a variety of individual and team equipment to facilitate rapid deployment of Corps members. There is enough individual equipment to support the deployment of 250 Civilian Response Corps members, from both the Active and Standby components. This equipment includes:

• Team medical kits, solar powered equipment rechargers, and office start-up kits. These items will allow Corps members to remain as resource-neutral as possible and avoid placing a burden on the receiving embassy.

• Protective gear. Items such as ballistic protective vests, helmets, and fire retardant gloves will help protect Corps members from many of the dangers of serving in non-permissive environments.

• Fully armored vehicles. Corps members will be able to maintain freedom of movement in semi and non-permissive environments through use of the twenty-eight fully armoured vehicles that are scheduled for delivery in 2010. The vehicles will also be available for use by other U.S. Government employees supporting reconstruction and stabilization missions abroad.

• Mobile communications equipment. The Corps deploys a variety of completely self-contained, solar-powered packages available to keep Corps members in constant contact with Washington and others in the field when they are working away from post.

Corps members will be trained on the use of this equipment in the newly designed Security for Non-Traditional Operating Environments (SNOE), a course that emphasizes hands-on application of skills and aims to replicate the stresses and conditions that Corps members might experience in the field. (Read Civilian Response Corps member Eythan Sontag’s DipNote entry about the course here.)

From the Darfur in Sudan’s isolated west, to Colombia, members of the Civilian Response Corps have been, and will continue to be, at the forefront of challenging reconstruction and stabilization missions; and their equipment needs to be just as versatile and expeditionary as they are.



Norma L.
Nevada, USA
October 7, 2009

Norma L. in Nevada writes:

Dear Secretary Clinton:

Re: Civilian Response Corp.

I cannot begin to say enough good things about a well trained, well equipped, group of civilians who will be sent to remote areas to help the civilians living there with a goal of stabalizing the area.

I believe this is absolutely a magnificient idea and hope with all my being it proves successful beyond all expectation.

I am grateful beyond words to hear and read about this method of providing real and lasting help in desperate situations!

I don't have strong enough adjectives to describe how I feel so I'll just say to all involved - thank you for your service to our Country and our Planet!!!

Norma L.

Virginia, USA
October 9, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

This is a good start but more will have to be done. The best way to simulate the future disasters of the world, just put yourself in that position and see how you would respond.

See most people think the Governments would be in tact when Nuclear Warfare happens... doubtful...

The tv movies of Mad Maxx comes to mind - people on earth would use every measures needed, using all resources whats left to survive.

Equipment is great, but will people have the time to get to it before they perish, or getting the right medical treatment?

Some of us in the world have the training to survive the biggest diasasters on earth and will help others. Look for the hints, signs of earthquakes already happening.

Ensure you keep a bag of charcoal handy - why charcoal? Because it can filter your water, filter air, and remove particals that could effect your breathing. Charcoal is the cryptonite against a biological attack.


skin c.
October 10, 2009

S.C. writes:

What is this? It sounds kind of like a non-military military force. Where can I read more about this program?


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