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NOVEMBER 14, 2002

Testimony of
James S. Gilmore, III

Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction

Before the
Hearing of the

Military Procurement Subcommittee

Of the

Committee on Armed Services
U.S. House of Representatives

November 14, 2002

Mister Chairman, Ranking Member, and Members of the Subcommittee, I am honored to be here today. I come before you as the Chairman of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction. Thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the Advisory Panel. The Advisory Panel was established by Section 1405 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999, Public Law 105–261 (H.R. 3616, 105th Congress, 2nd Session) (October 17, 1998). That Act directed the Advisory Panel to accomplish several specific tasks. It said:

The panel shall-

1. assess Federal agency efforts to enhance domestic preparedness for
incidents involving weapons of mass destruction;

2. assess the progress of Federal training programs for local
emergency responses to incidents involving weapons of mass

3. assess deficiencies in programs for response to incidents involving
weapons of mass destruction, including a review of unfunded

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communications quicment, and planning requirements, and he
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recommend wrateges for ensuring effective pentination with
respect to Federal agency weapons of mass testriction response
effors, and for ensuring fully effective local response cacanlines
for weapons of mass destruction incatents: and

assess the appropriate roles of State and local government
Anding effective iccal response capacities.

That Act required he Advisory Panel to report its findings, conclusions, and
recommendations for improving Federal, State, and ocal tomestic emergency
preparedness to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction he
President and the Congress three times during the course of the Advisory Paner's
deliberations or December 15 in 1999, 2000, and 200..

The Advisory Panel's tenure was extended for two years in accordance with Section 1514 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 S. 1358. Public Law 107-107, 107 Congress, First Session,, which was signed into law by the President on December 28, 2001. By virtue of that legislation, the panel is now required to submit two additional reports one on December 15 of this year, and one on December 15, 2003.

Leadership of the Subcommittee

Let me again commend this panel, and especially its distinguished Chairman, the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Weldon, for your continuing leadership in bringing these issues involving homeland security and combating terrorism before the U.S. Congress and the American people. Many will not remember, as we on the Advisory Panel remember so well, that this subcommittee and its Chair were well into these issues long before the attacks of last September, including the foresight to establish and then to extend the tenure of the Advisory Panel for an additional two years.

Panel Composition

Mr. Chairman, as I usually do on occasions like this, please allow me to pay special tribute to the men and women who serve on our panel.

This Advisory Panel is unique in one very important way. It is not the typical national "blue ribbon" panel, which in most cases historically have been composed almost exclusively of what I will refer to as "Washington Insiders"—— people who have spent most of their professional careers inside the Beltway. This panel has a sprinkling of that kind of experience—a former Member of Congress and Secretary of the Army, a former State Department Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism, a former senior executive from the CIA and the FBI, a former senior member of the Intelligence Community, the former head of a national academy on public health, two retired flag-rank military officers, a former senior executive in a non-governmental charitable organization, and the head of a national law enforcement foundation. But what truly makes this panel special and, therefore, causes its pronouncement to carry significantly more weight, is the contribution from the members of the panel from the rest of the country:

Three directors of state emergency management agencies, from
California, Iowa, and Indiana, two of whom now also serve their
Governor's as Homeland Security Advisors

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The deputy director of a state homeland security agency

A state epidemiologist and director of a state public health agency

A former city manager of a mid-size city

The chief of police of a suburban city in a major metropolitan area
Senior professional and volunteer fire fighters

A senior emergency medical services officer of a major metropolitan area

And, of course in the person of your witness--a former State governor

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