wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05DUSHANBE2006
2005-12-09 13:35:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Dushanbe
Cable title:  

VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD HAZMAT RESPONSE ASSESSMENT TEAM

Tags:   ETTC  KNNP  KSTC  MNUC  PARM  TI 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS  DUSHANBE 002006 

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR ISN/EC - PVANSON, ACHURCH, AND ACUMMINGS
DEPT FOR EUR/CACEN, EUR/ACE - DMARTIN
CBP/INA FOR PWARKER AND BPICKETT
USDOE/NNSA - FOR TPERRY
DOC FOR PETERSEN - BEARD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC KNNP KSTC MNUC PARM TI
SUBJECT: VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD HAZMAT RESPONSE ASSESSMENT TEAM
COMPLETES ASSESSMENT OF TAJIKISTAN



1. SUMMARY: Four members of the Virginia National Guard (VNG)
assessed the capability of Tajik ministries to respond to a
hazardous materials incident. The team visited the Ministries
of Emergency Situations, Defense, State Border Protection
Committee, Academy of Sciences, and local fire department. The
team was surprised to find that, although the Tajiks are in need
of upgraded equipment and techniques, they do have a capability
and qualified personnel to respond. It was noted that the
Ministry of Defense was best set up to respond to hazmat
incidents and this is where the VNG intends to concentrate its
efforts.



2. Ministry of Defense: The Special Chemical, Biological,
Radiological (CBR) Company is an MOD unit that reports directly
the MOD Chief of Staff. It is commanded by a Colonel and
consists of four platoons, each with 25-28 soldiers. Although
the soldiers in this special unit are conscripts with little
specialized training, several of the officers are graduates of
special Soviet CBR Defense schools. The Colonel indicated that
the Chemical Company's primary mission is to work with the CBR
department at MES to build a CBR response capability for
Tajikistan (note: MES never articulated that they had such a
unit or displayed this capability). The MOD CBR Company
equipment for Hazmat/WMD response was antiquated (1970s era)
soviet chemical and radiation equipment. Most of this detection
equipment appeared in good condition, some may even still be
operable. Their personal protective gear is antiquated soviet
equipment that is only suited for training. Overall assessment
is that MOD has an established Hazmat/ WMD response team with a
core of trained personnel that, if properly equipped and
trained, will be capable of performing the Hazmat/ WMD response
mission. They have antiquated detection equipment, but are
familiar with newer technologies. They have an operable fleet
of vehicles dedicated to their response mission. They have
inadequate personal protective equipment, but know the
principles of personal protection and are familiar with newer
equipment.



3. Ministry of Interior: The Central Fire Service is an MOI
unit that handles the initial response to any type of emergency
or natural disaster in Tajikistan. Although their primary
function is fire prevention, they regularly respond to other
types of emergencies. They indicated that they recently handled
a chlorine leak in Dushanbe. A central dispatch controls their
response from numerous branch stations across the country. They
have received training in emergency response from US
firefighters, and were very knowledgeable within their area of
expertise. They have respiratory protection (SCBA and

Rebreather) that is adequate and functional. They have
protective equipment for fires, but none for hazardous
materials. They have no detection equipment for HazMat concerns
like flammable atmospheres, oxygen levels, carbon monoxide or
chlorine. Overall assessment is that MOI has an established
emergency response capability with a core of trained personnel
that, if properly equipped and trained, could be capable of
performing the Hazmat/ WMD response mission. (COMMENT: It is
interesting to note that the local fire service falls under the
Ministry of Interior. END COMMENT)



4. Ministry of Emergency Situations: MES is responsible for
building a unified response capability for emergencies. They
control Civil Defense Troops that support emergency management.
MES is developing a training center for Emergency Situations,
but this center, although well furnished by the UN, lacks
computers, reference books and training aids. The MES equipment
for Hazmat/WMD response was antiquated (1970s era) soviet
chemical and radiation equipment. Most of this detection
equipment appeared inoperable. Their personal protective gear
is antiquated soviet equipment that is not suited for Hazmat
response. MES asserted that they have other equipment at other
locations, and have personnel who are trained in chemical,


biological and radiological response. We were unable to meet
with these people or see this equipment. Overall assessment is
that MES has no established Hazmat/ WMD response team, little or
no functional detection equipment, and inadequate personal
protective equipment. It will take significantly longer to
train MES if there is not a core of trained personnel upon which
to build a team (again, they asserted but did not display this
capability).



5. Border Guards: Border Guards are responsible for policing the
border of Tajikistan. Border Guards asserted no capability for
Hazmat/ WMD Response. They displayed a functional protective
mask, but indicated that they have a limited supply. Overall
assessment is that the Border Guards have no established Hazmat/
WMD response team, no detection equipment, and inadequate
personal protective equipment.




6. Academy of Sciences -Nuclear Radiation Safety Agency: This
agency is responsible for state policy on nuclear and radiation
protection, control and licensing of radiation sources,
retrieval of orphan sources and mitigation of radiation
contamination. They are well equipped, to western lab
standards, for detection and identification of radiation. They
have no chemical or biological expertise or equipment. Overall
assessment is that this will be an excellent source of radiation
expertise that can augment and enhance a Tajik Hazmat/WMD
response team. They will be able to definitively identify
radioactive isotopes and have the resources to advise on
response and mitigation. Similar subject-matter experts for
Chemical and Biological response must be identified to assist
the Tajik Hazmat/ WMD response team.




7. A full copy of the report with the teams' recommendations has
been forwarded to ISN/EC for consideration. POC for this
message is Paul Shott, EXBS advisor, shottpj@state.gov, phone
992 372 241560 ext. 2102.
HOAGLAND


NNNN