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									December 1, 2006 PREPARING THE PHS ENGINEER FOR AN OFRD DEPLOYMENT Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee Engineers Professional Advisory Committee Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service

Introduction Under the National Response Plan (NRP), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is expected to provide the appropriate personnel to meet the needs of the Health and Medical Services emergency support function (ESF #8). The primary responsibilities of ESF 8 during a response can be found in the NRP and include: o Patient and medical special needs evacuations o Life-saving operations o Life-sustaining operations o Restoration of public health, medical infrastructure and medical special needs o Management of human remains o Patient return to location of origin. While the role of the PHS health care providers and clinicians may seem obvious under ESF #8, the role of the engineer is not always so obvious. PHS engineers often ask what they might be called upon to do and what they should do to prepare themselves for a deployment. DHHS is also responsible for providing support to the other ESFs. Two of these often involve DHHS engineers: ESF #3, Public Works and Engineering, which the Army Corps of Engineers has responsibility, and ESF # 10, Oil and Hazardous Material Response, which the Environmental Protection Agency has responsibility. The Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee (EPS) wrote this guidance to help PHS commissioned officer engineers who are deploying for the first time, to understand the deployment process and potential deployment roles. By understanding the deployment process and roles, engineers can better prepare themselves. Additionally, this document discusses training, experience, and networking which PHS engineers should seek out to better prepare themselves for a deployment. This guidance is for officers who are deployed by the Office of Force Readiness and Deployment (OFRD) and does not cover OPDIV-specific deployments.

The Commissioned Corps Readiness Force (CCRF) CCRF was created by the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG) in 1994 to improve the ability of DHHS to respond to public health emergencies. The CCRF was voluntary for

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any commissioned officer who wanted to join provided they had supervisory approval. The CCRF had no standing teams but consisted of a database which could be queried for officers who could bolster an existing team or organization based on their skill set. As the CCRF matured, so did the training and other readiness requirements. The Internet became more widely available to officers allowing CCRF to offer training modules online and to better track officers meeting readiness requirements. Operational management for the CCRF was transferred to the Office of Emergency Preparedness in October 1997. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the anthrax attacks, OEP was divided in two: the response portion of the office was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) while the planning section was transferred to the new Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness (OPHEP) under the HHS Office of the Secretary. CCRF was concurrently transferred back to the OSG in March 2003. CCRF was subsequently subsumed under the new OFRD in 2004.

The Office of Force Readiness and Deployment (OFRD) The formation of OFRD, along with the Corps Transformation, marked the end of a voluntary CCRF. The expectation was that all officers were deployable. As such, all officers were expected to meet basic readiness qualifications (more on this further on). Officers were assigned to one of twelve monthly Ready Rosters. This meant that one month a year officers needed to take extra steps to be ready for deployment as well as communicate with their supervisor on the possibility of deployment. A request for deployment by OFRD was not an order to deploy. Officers were expected to know and follow the procedures used by their OPDIV to request approval for a potential deployment. The supervisor or OPDIV could deny approval to deploy. In May 2006, OFRD began to implement the Transformation Workgroup recommendations and Recommendation 57.c (See Attachment A) from the White House Publication, The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned. Recommendation 57.c called for DHHS to “organize, train, equip, and roster medical and public health professionals in pre-configured and deployable teams.” OFRD could not effectively deploy teams if OPDIVs could deny officers from deploying. The Secretary of DHHS approached all OPDIVs with the policy change that officers will deploy upon request by OFRD. OPDIVs could no longer prevent an officer from deploying. DHHS (OPHEP) also realized that some officers filled positions in which that officer’s sudden departure could in it self create a crisis. OPDIVs needed some ability to fine tune this broad-sweeping deployment policy to deal with individual officers on a case-by-case basis. Thus DHHS has allowed some OPDIVs to pre-designate officers as “mission critical” and as such would only be asked to deploy in extreme circumstances. All officers are assigned to a deployment roster and as such are on call every fifth month. Officers must inform their supervisors of their rotation schedule so that scheduling, work

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assignments, and leave requests can be considered, to avoid potential conflicts for the OPDIV, the officer, and the response mission. Thus, in response to Recommendation 57.c, OFRD changed from the monthly readiness roster to a four tier response system with pre-established teams subject to deployment every fifth month with all officers assigned to one of four tiers of response. Tier One responders are either on a Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) team or an Incident Response Coordination Team (IRCT). During their on-call month, individuals assigned to Tier One are expected to report to a point of departure within 12 hours of notification. Tier Two responders are on an Applied Public Health Team (APHTs) or a Mental Health Team (MHT). The memberships of these teams will be geographically dispersed. During their on-call month, individuals assigned to Tier Two are expected to report to a point of departure within 36 hours of notification. Those officers not placed on Tier One or Tier Two response teams are placed in Tier Three. Individuals assigned to Tier Three will be expected to report to a point of departure within 72 hours of notification but are not assigned to any particular team. Officers designated as “mission critical” are Tier Three responders. However, they do not serve on the monthly rotation schedule and, as already stated, would only deploy in extreme circumstances. Tier Four responders are those officers in the Inactive Reserve Corps. For more information regarding OFRD’s four-tier response system, see Attachment A. Regarding the mission critical designation, see Attachment B.

The Deployment Process Likely the deployment process will begin with an advisory E-mail from OFRD concerning a potential deployment mission. Officers should inform their supervisor of the potential deployment. Officers will be informed by E-mail if they are selected. Travel itineraries will be sent either by fax or electronically. Officers should never deploy without first having travel itineraries emailed or faxed from the OPHEP travel desk. While it is preferable to have travel orders before beginning travel, often travel orders are not cut, are done afterwards, or are sent to where one is deployed. Deployments will typically last two weeks. Upon return, be sure and fill out a Mission Evaluation form at the OFRD website by logging into the Officer Main Menu. Doing so will provide important information to OFRD and additionally will provide credit for the deployment on the Officer Summary Page.

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The Mission Assignment The Federal Emergency Management Agency issues mission assignments (MA) to other agencies. These MAs specify what is being requested of the agency and provides the funding from FEMA to the agency to carry out the MA. Engineers may find themselves deployed under one of the three ESFs described above. It is important engineers understand for which ESF they are working and what the official MA states. Once deployed to the field, the engineer needs to stay within the scope of the MA.

Basic Level of Readiness Initially, joining the CCRF was voluntary for any PHS officer interested in emergency deployments but required officers to meet certain qualifications before they would be considered for deployment. Once CCRF was subsumed by OFRD, being ready for deployment was no longer relegated to a voluntary subset of PHS Commissioned Corps officers but instead deployment readiness became a requirement for all officers. The metric for being ready is to meet Basic Level of Readiness requirements (being basic qualified). As an incentive, the Commissioned Corps requires officers to be basic qualified in order to be promoted or assimilated into the regular corps. Forced retirement or termination is also possible for not meeting force readiness standards. These requirements and subsequent changes can be found on the Commissioned Corps Management Information System web site:  Subchapter cc26.1, INSTRUCTION 8, PHS Readiness Standards, December 18, 2003  Manual Circular 377, Basic Level of Force Readiness Standards for the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service, July 2, 2004.  Personnel Policy Memorandum 07-001, Extension of Manual Circular 377, November 3, 2006

The readiness training requires passing a set of twelve online training modules under the OFRD USPHS Learning Management System within the Blackboard Learning System. This system is new as of December 1, 2006 and replaces the CentreLearn website. PPM 07-001 which extended MC-377 came out with a reduced set of training courses needed to be basic qualified then was previously offered on the CentreLearn website. 110 - Disaster Response 140 – Preventive Medicine for Field Operations 141 - Health Consequences and Response 142 - Disaster Triage 180 - Infectious Disease Management 182 - Terrorism 183 - ABCs of Bioterrorism 217 – Safety and Security Awareness

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In addition, PPM-07-001 requires all officers to complete four courses related to the National Incident Management System (NIMS) at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) online independent study program. This training can also be reached through links in the OFRD USPHS Learning Management System. IS-100 – Introduction to the Incident Command System IS-200 – ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents IS-700 – National Incident Management system (NIMS) IS-800 – National Response Plan (NRP) The training is free and provides all the materials necessary to perform independent study. OFRD provides a Basic Readiness Checklist. By meeting the standards for being basic qualified, officers may expect that they and their fellow responders meet two readiness goals: 1) They are physically fit and likely to remain healthy during the deployment, and 2) they have sufficient knowledge and training to ensure a basic level of competence to perform their deployment duties.

Types of deployment roles Historically, PHS officers have found themselves deployed based on two different needs by OFRD: 1) Application of professional expertise 2) Incident management and coordination Application of Professional Expertise – OFRD may seek out engineers for a needed expertise. The engineer typically would have gained the expertise through a position held at an OPDIV. As an example, the expertise may be assessing and repairing drinking well systems, wastewater treatment systems, or medical facilities; knowledge on ambient air pollution or on hazardous waste management; etc. Even if the engineer is not an expert, he or she could have sufficient background to work in a team under the tutelage of a more experienced engineer. Incident Management and Coordination – During an emergency, people are needed to coordinate the DHHS response to an emergency. Coordination is needed internally as well as externally (between federal, state, and local agencies). Their task is to gather, validate, and repackage information, then send the information on to whoever needs it. Decision-makers need to allocate resources but can not do so without such information. It has been a challenge for OFRD to rapidly match the response needs with officers having the appropriate skill. To address this issue, OFRD modified their website in May 2006 to allow officers to provide information about themselves in four areas:

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1) 2) 3) 4)

deployment roles (31) in which qualified to serve description of current duty assignment previous job experiences and specialties special training completed.

Officers, regardless of their category, may find themselves qualified through training or experience to serve in a number of deployment roles. Of the 31 deployment roles, there are nine likely roles for engineers. With two exceptions, the roles can still generally be characterized in one of the two deployment role types discussed earlier. The following is a brief description of these nine roles. Note that these descriptions no longer appear on the website and perhaps will be posted at a later time. Application of Professional Expertise Disaster Response Engineer – Requires the service of an engineer to assess and/or address issues with water supply, wastewater, healthcare facilities, air pollution control, hazardous materials management, industrial hygiene, solid waste management, structural, or electrical. The role may require a Professional Engineer, Registered Environmental Health Specialist, Diplomate Environmental Engineer, or Registered Sanitarian. General Environmental Health Officer – Open to both Environmental Health and Engineer category officers. Officers evaluate and assess potable and waste water systems, vector control for medical and solid waste disposal, and other environmental health concerns for medical treatment areas, shelter facilities and community resources. This role looks for Registered Environmental Health Specialists or Professional Engineers. This role may somewhat overlap with the disaster response engineer in that both may be called upon to do assessments. The difference is the General Environmental Health Officer is focused on providing a safe and sanitary living/working environment for the response team while the Disaster Response Engineer is focused on the public. Hazardous Waste/Materials – This role looks for Certified Hazardous Material Managers, those with 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations, or Emergency Response training. This role also seems to overlap with the Disaster Response Engineer. Occupational Health/Industrial Hygiene - This role looks for Certified Industrial Hygienists or Professional Engineer. It also seems to overlap with Disaster Response Engineer. Safety Officer – This deployment role looks for someone who is a Certified Safety Professional. In addition, someone who has advanced training as a safety officer under the incident command system (ICS) would be suitable. Incident Management and Coordination Emergency Coordinator Augmentee – This deployment role is an incident management coordination role in which the engineer can take additional training to qualify. DHHS has replaced this position with the SERT-A (more on this later). This role is no longer one of the deployment roles to select since the SERT is now a Tier One team.

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Liaison Officer - This deployment role is an incident management coordination role in which the engineer can take additional training to qualify. Note, this should not be confused with the Liaison Officer position found in the command staff under ICS. Other Deployment Roles for Engineers The following roles have been identified as those which engineers may find themselves qualified because of their own personal interest or hobby. Communications Officer – This deployment role looks for someone knowledgeable in both information technology (IT) and radio communication. Note that these are two very different skill sets, so it is more likely that someone would be skilled in either IT or radio communication but not both. The engineer may be qualified for IT based on their current position or due to their personal interest in IT. There will be deployments where computers will have to be setup and configured to work with a wireless network, gain access to the Internet, and print to a shared printer. Radio communication knowledge is likely due to the engineer’s personal interest such as having acquired an amateur radio license and/or involvement in a HAM radio club. Emergency Medical Technician - Training to be an EMT is one way engineers can position themselves to serve directly as a health care provider instead of in a supportive role. Note that maintaining your EMT license involves actively working or volunteering as an EMT. This is a big commitment but, if so motivated, a role engineers can pursue through training on their own time.

Individual Training One purpose for this document is to provide guidance on training, experience, and networking that would prepare the PHS engineer for a deployment. As just discussed, engineers may find themselves deployed in one of two different types of roles. The EPS is not providing guidance on how to acquire training to serve in a role that calls for application of professional expertise. Generally, it would be too much to expect an engineer to develop an expertise in a specialized area that is outside their current professional position. However, as a placeholder for future consideration, the EPS could identify “boots-on-the-ground” tasks that typically need to be accomplished after a disaster and for which engineers can quickly be trained. EPAC discusses the types of professional expertise PHS engineers can offer in Public Health Service Engineering Capabilities During Disaster Responses: Handbook for Deploying the Appropriate Public Health Service Engineer found on the EPAC Website. Instead, the guidance offered here is aimed at the incident management and coordination role that engineers may fill. Clearly, the first steps are to complete the course work to become basic qualified. These courses touch on several areas in which engineers should seek further study and training. Individual officers may gather valuable specialized skills by completing the following training courses:

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Incident Command System (ICS) Principal components of the Homeland Security Presidential Directive - 5 (HSPD-5) are the development of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Response Plan (NRP). ICS is the organizational structure required by the NIMS and the NRP to be used by all federal agencies during emergency operations. HSPD-5 also requires that all Federal response personnel be trained in NIMS and the NRP, which would include ICS. ICS can be used at all levels of a response; from the field level up to the incident management and coordination level. Lack of understanding of ICS was one of the major flaws identified in The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina - Lessons Learned. Here are some notable quotes: “Furthermore, the JFO staff and other deployed Federal personnel often lacked a working knowledge of NIMS or even a basic understanding of ICS principles.” require all incident management personnel to have a working knowledge of NIMS and ICS.”
“We must

National Response Plan (NRP) Knowledge of the NRP enhances the effectiveness of every responder involved in an Incident of National Significance or a Stafford Act incident. The NRP outlines the roles and responsibilities of each agency and how they will coordinate with each other in such incidents. Consequently, PHS Officers should have an understanding of the NRP which becomes increasingly important the higher your position is in the coordinating and decision-making chain. Another quote from The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina - Lessons Learned brings this point home. “At the most fundamental level, part of the explanation for why the response to Katrina did not go as planned is that key decision-makers at all levels simply were not familiar with the plans.”

Other Mechanisms to Improve Deployment Skills Officers should consider some of their personal interests, hobbies, or off-duty activities as a source of general and specialized deployment skills. For instance, as a member or leader of a civic, service, or professional group, officers gain general deployment skills in terms of leadership, public speaking, and team development experience. Join and participate in professional organizations. Notable organizations are our own Commissioned Officers Association (COA), the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), and any of the many professional engineering associations. Professional conferences will offer opportunities to develop professional and leadership skills and to learn about the available knowledge of the membership. In an emergency, you are not

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expected to know everything but you will need to know where to go to find the right answers. Someone you know or heard present may have the solution to the problem you are trying to solve. Officers participating in a HAM radio club may acquire an amateur radio license that may qualify them to fulfill the deployment role as a Communications Officer. Similarly, officers with a keen interest in computers and computer networks may feel qualified to also serve as a Communications Officer in the area of IT support. Officers with advanced first aid training or certified as an EMT may be able to provide extra support at shelter and care facilities or to their team. In addition to the EMT deployment role, the CCRF database has a box for officers to enter a date of EMT license expiration. Officers involved with outdoor or wilderness organizations may be more comfortable with the austere living and working conditions found on some deployments. All of these familiar situations help and should not be discounted as training opportunities. For other suggestions, read Opportunities for Civil Service Engineers in Emergency Preparedness on the EPAC website under Emergency Preparedness.

Networking A common impediment to an effective response is often not technical but people and their personalities. In the process of forming a team, people need to “size each other up” and develop some trust or confidence in each other’s abilities and know how. People need to know if they can rely on someone to get the job done. The urgency and stress of the response situation can lead to misunderstanding between people if communication and trust is not established in the beginning. The Tier Deployment system may somewhat address this issue by forming teams under Tiers One and Two, provided the team members have an opportunity to network or train prior to a deployment. Officers in Tier Three are not assigned to teams and should network as much as possible. Networking for a deployment setting is simply meeting and “exchanging business cards” with people with whom one may need to work with on a deployment mission. Participating in the Commissioned Officers Association (COA) at the branch level, as well as attending National conferences are likely the best avenues for networking with fellow PHS officers, especially those officers in other categories and OPDIVs. Engineers may also find opportunities to network with fellow engineers at occasional leadership trainings put on by the EPAC. Another networking venue is training put on by OFRD. In the past, OFRD offered training such as Critical Reactions Aimed Toward Emergency Response and Emergency Coordinator Augmentee in Anniston, Alabama; TOPOFF 3 Exercise; SERT, etc. These

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trainings events would typically last a week allowing officers a chance to network. Officers are encouraged to monitor the OFRD website for training opportunities. Finally, this guidance would be remiss not to mention the EPAC as the main avenue to network with fellow PHS engineers. Consider serving on a subcommittee in the EPAC.

Are You Ready? Since 1994 when the CCRF was first formed, the standards for deployment readiness have been evolving. The evolution process seems to be going faster. The latest sign of more evolution came on January 18, 2006, when Secretary Michael Leavitt, announced the Transformation of the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service. Along with the announcement were decisions related to readiness. The important point to keep in mind is that readiness process and standards will continuously evolve. The EPAC will continue to monitor for further changes and update this guidance as needed.

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ATTACHMENT A April 28, 2006 TO: FROM: SUBJECT: All Commissioned Corps Officers Director, OFRD Deployment Role and Response Team Selection/Application

Much has transpired in the last few months related to the readiness and response of the Commissioned Corps. One of the most important documents related to readiness and response is the recent White House Publication, The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned. Specifically, recommendation 57.c from the report states, “HHS should organize, train, equip, and roster medical and public health professionals in pre-configured and deployable teams”. The Department has convened several workgroups to address this and other recommendations applicable to the Corps. The Corps will develop four “tiers” of response, with different expectations placed on officers in each tier. BEFORE OFFICERS ARE FINALLY PLACED ON TIER ONE OR TIER TWO TEAMS, SUPERVISORY CONCURRENCE WILL BE OBTAINED BY OFRD.  Tier One will involve five Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) teams and ten Secretary’s Emergency Response Teams (SERTs). Individuals assigned to Tier One will be expected to report to a point of departure within 12 hours of notification. The RDFs, composed of 105 officers each, will be centered in 4 locations. A) PHS-1 RDF and PHS-2 RDF will utilize officers within 200 miles of Washington, DC. B) PHS-3 RDF will include officers within 200 miles of Atlanta, but will also include officers within 200 miles of Raleigh/Durham. C) PHS-4 RDF will include officers within 200 miles of Dallas, but also include officers within 200 miles of Oklahoma City. D) PHS-5 RDF will include officers within 200 miles of Phoenix, but also include officers within 200 miles of Albuquerque. This geographic focus is because the ability to rapidly gather in a centralized location to train and deploy as a unit is important. The RDFs will have a clinical focus, with some applied public health personnel, as well as embedded leadership and management staff. Another component of Tier One will be 10 SERTs, composed of 30 officers each. A SERT will be centered in each of the PHS Regional Offices, but may

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include officers anywhere within the Region. The SERTs will provide oversight, management, and liaison activities for field operations.  Tier Two will involve five Applied Public Health Teams (APHTs), and five Mental Health Teams (MHTs). The memberships of these teams will be geographically dispersed. Individuals assigned to Tier Two will be expected to report to a point of departure within 36 hours of notification. The APHTs will be composed of 47 officers with skills that reflect the functions found in public health departments. Each APHT will be capable of replacing or augmenting a decimated county health department. The MHTs will be composed of 26 officers each, and will be capable of providing mental health/behavioral health services after a disaster or as a consequence of an urgent public health need. For a thumbnail sketch of the Commissioned Corps Response Team Structure, Personnel, and Missions, go to http://ccrf.hhs.gov/ccrf/response_team_description.htm  Those not place on Tier One or Tier Two response teams will be placed in Tier Three, which will include every other active duty officer in the Commissioned Corps. Individuals assigned to Tier Three will be expected to report to a point of departure within 72 hours of notification. Tier Three personnel can expect to be deployed on a regular basis, either to augment Tier 1 or Tier 2 teams, or to provide specific requested skills when required. For example, if a state requests 20 nurses to provide inpatient services at an overwhelmed hospital, those nurses will come from Tier Three rather than remove all the nurses from a RDF team, thus removing a critical resource from the RDF such that it can no longer function as a unit. All active duty officers in the Corps will be placed in one of these three response tiers. All officers will be assigned to a rotating schedule of months such that one fifth of the Corps will be on call every fifth month. The current rosters will no longer be valid as of July 1, 2006. Once determined, it is essential that all officers inform their supervisors of their rotation schedule so that scheduling, work assignments, and leave requests can be considered, thus avoiding potential conflicts for the Agency, the officer, and the response mission. An exception: The Secretary has indicated that some officers shall be designated as “mission critical” by their agencies, and as such would only be asked to deploy in extreme circumstances. Those designations have been received from agencies. Although mission critical officers will be placed in Tier Three, they will not be on a monthly rotation, nor will they deploy except in those extreme events. In the event of an extreme circumstance, officers

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detailed to the Coast Guard may only be deployed in support of an HHS mission with the permission of the Coast Guard Director of Health and Safety.  Tier Four will involve officers in the Inactive Reserve Corps.

In order to better place officers in appropriate deployment role(s), by May 12, 2006, all Active Duty Corps officers should go to the following website – http://ccrf.hhs.gov/ccrf/ofrd_officer_questionnaire.htm - record your name and PHS Ser No, and indicate:  The response tier / team for which you wish to be considered, keeping in mind the geographic requirements for the RDFs and SERTs.  Then answer the questions related to your responsibilities, training, skills, and experience. You may indicate one or multiple deployment roles for which you want to be considered. You will be assigned role(s) depending on your answers to the questions.  Officers who do not choose roles will be assigned a role per the needs of the Department. Your response tier selection and deployment role "application" will be shared with response Team Leaders for their review. You will be given priority consideration for the tier and role preferences indicated. If you are not selected for the preferred tier, you will automatically be considered for the next lower tier for which there is a need for your selected role. Once completed, OFRD will contact your supervisor to confirm that they will support your tier placement. Be sure your supervisor’s correct email address is on your Officer Summary Page at http://ccrf.hhs.gov/ccrf. Without an accurate supervisory email address, we have no choice but to place you in Tier 3. Your agency liaison will be copied on this information. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the USPHS Commissioned Corps. I look forward to hearing from you.

RADM John Babb Assistant Surgeon General

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ATTACHMENT B

March 6, 2006 TO: Agency Representatives Agency Liaisons Director, Office of Force Readiness and Deployment Designation of “Mission Critical” Officers

FROM: SUBJECT:

In his Commissioned Corps transformation decisions announced by Secretary Leavitt on January 18, 2006, he directed that “Officers who meet critical agency mission requirements should not be routinely deployed except to address the most serious national threats”. In his verbal comments, the Secretary stated that the officers in the category of critical agency assignees would be “limited in number”. As the Corps moves forward in implementing the Secretary’s other decisions related to readiness, it is apparent that we need information regarding those officers who meet critical agency missions before we can select response team leaders and populate teams. This is not a new concept, as the Office of Force Readiness and Deployment has incorporated “Agency Rosters” into their planning for the last three years, placing officers in that category based on agency requests to not deploy officers who had been identified as assets the agency needed for their own response mission. However, the following definition of an officer meeting a critical agency provides a more standardized approach. To provide guidance to agencies as they claim exemption from deployment for an officer due to “mission critical” status, the officer must meet any one of the following criteria: 1) The officer is at a duty station where 25% or greater of authorized positions within an officer’s area of primary or shared responsibilities and duties are not permanently staffed on a full time basis, or 2) The officer is directly and solely responsible for critical program activities that would otherwise jeopardize patient safety or agency-critical responsibilities if the solely responsible officer were absent for two weeks, or 3) The officer is actively engaged as a member of an agency emergency response team and routinely deploys with that team during emergency events, or holds a management position with an agency emergency response team, and is actively engaged in response activities at the duty station, or 4) The officer is permanently exempt per their status in the Department or Agency Command and Control Structure, or 5) The officer holds a position, which is deemed critical to national security, including details to the DoD and the U.S. Coast Guard, or 6) The officer holds an international assignment, or

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7)

The officer is in a long-term training assignment.

To place officers in this designation, please complete the following fields in the attached Excel spreadsheet: rank, name, PHS Serial Number, agency, job assignment, and the reason (expressed as a number) that the officer meets the definition of mission critical. I ask that this information be completed and returned to me by COB March 20, 2006. Once this information is collected, OFRD will immediately begin soliciting officers for deployment teams. Thank you for your support as we move forward in implementing the Secretary’s transformation decisions.

RADM John Babb Assistant Surgeon General

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