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Gov. Chris Gregoire heading to D.C. … No, not for that

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on June 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
June 1, 2010 4:23 pm

It’s not to find out whether President Obama will make her an offer she can’t refuse – the solicitor general’s job – but to testify about military response to domestic emergencies, her office said.

She’s testifying before a Pentagon board with the long-winded name of the Advisory Panel on Department of Defense Capabilities for Support of Civil Authorities After Certain Incidents, which is helping update plans for military response to an emergency like a chemical, biological or nuclear disaster.

Here’s the news release:

Gov. Gregoire to testify before DOD panel

Gregoire joins Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas to discuss cooperative state-federal response to major domestic emergencies

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire tomorrow will join Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas in Washington, D.C., to testify before the Advisory Panel on Department of Defense Capabilities for Support of Civil Authorities After Certain Incidents.

“I appreciate the opportunity to testify before this panel, and am encouraged that its members see the importance of hearing the states’ perspective to enhance national security,” Gregoire said. “My top priority is safeguarding the people and property of Washington state, and that requires security of the United States as a whole. Having this opportunity allows Governor Douglas and me to highlight policies that affect individual states, and discuss how the states and federal government can work effectively together to boost security for the entire nation.”

“I’m so pleased to be joining Governor Gregoire in representing to this important Advisory Panel the priorities and positions of governors,” said Douglas, chair of the National Governors Association. “It’s important that we continue to make progress on the structures and processes necessary for integrating our nation’s military response to domestic emergencies. I am confident that the information being provided to this panel will help to highlight the importance of establishing appropriate authorities with regard to ordering active or reserve forces to assist in the response to a disaster or emergency, and integrating those forces under the control of a governor.”

The advisory panel is required by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 (and as amended in the Act of 2010) to assess the response capabilities of the Department of Defense in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield (CBRNE) incident, as well as recommend modifications to current plans and policies. The panel’s assessment and recommendations must be presented to the Secretary of Defense and to the Senate and House Armed Services committees no later than Sept. 15, 2010.

Panel members are appointed by the Department of Defense, and have expertise in handling a CBRNE event. Panel members include Major General Timothy Lowenberg, Adjutant General for the state of Washington, as well as former Washington Congressman George Nethercutt.

Gregoire and Douglas were invited to testify on behalf of the Council of Governors, upon which both serve as co-chair. President Obama appointed Gregoire to the position in February. The council was established to strengthen the partnership between states and the federal government on matters related to homeland defense.

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