The mission of the Atlantic Strike Team is to develop and maintain a cadre of highly trained professionals with specialized equipment and incident management skills who can rapidly deploy to assist Federal On-Scene Coordinators and Lead Agency Incident Commanders in preparing for and minimizing adverse impacts from oil discharges, hazardous materials releases, and weapons of mass destruction incidents.
The Atlantic Strike Team area of responsibility consists of Coast Guard Districts 1, 5, 9, and portions of Districts 7 (Caribbean) and 8 (Western Rivers) as well as EPA Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7.
Additionally, the Atlantic Strike Team has International responsibilities for Europe, the Middle East, Eastern Canada (from 36º Longitude), Bermuda, Africa, and the Caribbean. The Atlantic Strike Team may also assist other Strike Teams within their international area of responsibility.
The Atlantic Strike Team maintains variety of specialized response equipment to execute its Coast Guard missions and duties under the National Response System. Personnel undergo a rigorous training program and are equipped to respond to oil discharges, hazardous material releases, and weapons of mass destruction incidents. Additionally, the Atlantic Strike Team can assist the Federal On-Scene Coordinators and/or lead Incident Commander with preparedness and incident management activities, including operational planning and staffing of critical Incident Management Team positions.
The Atlantic Strike Team is equipped for response to and support of one protracted Type II incident. Collectively, the National Strike Force is capable of managing two protracted Type I incidents simultaneously, however, this would completely exhaust National Strike Force resources. Type II incident is understood to be a response that potentially requires out of area resources which could include state and or national. Type I incidents are the largest disasters that can occur and require state and national support for resources.
Members typically deploy for up to 21 days. If an incident exceeds this period, additional responders will be deployed to backfill positions. National Strike Force responders average approximately 160+ days/year deployed. The team is capable of dispatching responders by the fastest means possible, adhering to the National Strike Force’s minimum response time criteria:
• Two members within one hour of notification • Four members within two hours of notification • Up to twelve members within six hours of notification • Heavy equipment within four hours of notification
In addition to the minimum response time criteria, the Atlantic Strike Team maintains a 10-person response team on standby for hazardous material or weapons of mass destruction incident. Ready loads tailored to specific missions (i.e. booming, floods, hazardous material response) are maintained by the team to facilitate in the expeditious deployment of vital response equipment. In addition, all National Strike Force responders are trained to the same qualification standards, thus improving interoperability between the teams and dramatically increasing surge capabilities or large scale environmental and national security operations.
In addition of adding personnel from other sister teams the Atlantic Strike Team can advise and/or recommend additional federal specialized resources when needed. Additional resources include:
• Department of Energy’s Radiological Assessment Program Teams • National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Scientific Support Coordinators • Environmental Protection Agency’s Emergency Response Team • Navy Supervisor of Salvage DOD Explosive Ordinance Detachments • United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Center Salvage Engineering Response Team (SERT)
The National Strike Force and the Atlantic Strike Team strive to sponsor working relationships with the above organizations along with the National Guard’s Civil Support Team, Army’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit, the Marine’s Chemical Biological Response Force, and Environmental Protection Agency Radiological Emergency Response Team to produce and seamlessly add additional resources and capabilities.
Currently, the Atlantic Strike Team is comprised of:
• 44 Active Duty/35 Reservists
• 3 Civilians/6 Auxiliarists
The enlisted force includes Boatswain Mates, Machinery Technicians, Damage Control Technicians, Electronics Technicians, Electrician Mates, Marine Science Technicians, Storekeepers, Yeoman, and Health Services Technicians. Every member, regardless of rate, is first and foremost a responder. This provides the Atlantic Strike Team with the required knowledge, diversity, and skill sets necessary to respond to any potential emergency.
“The World’s Best Responders: Any Time, Any Place, Any Hazard.”