Georgia will be a regional base for a fast-responding homeland security force aimed at handling weapons of mass destruction incidents — one of only 10 nationwide, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday.
A majority of these Homeland Response Forces are to be established in 2012. Each will be assigned 570 personnel. Georgia's will be comprised of current Georgia Army National Guard members, plus 100 new full-time positions, and will be based at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Their territory includes Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky.
The force will be trained to respond within six to 12 hours to regional disasters like chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive incidents.
Personnel will be experienced in locating and extracting victims from a contaminated environment, performing mass patient decontamination, and stabilizing patients in need of medical care for evacuation.