JOINT TASK FORCE- "Fortitude"
WHAT IS A JOINT TASK FORCE?
In simple terms, a Joint Task Force (JTF) is a military grouping which either already exists as part of a military force or, as in the case of the Defence Forces, is formed for a specific purpose, for a limited time period. The ‘Joint’ aspect of the Task Force refers to its composition. It is military terminology for complementary forces from the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps, which are grouped together in joint operations, under a single command structure. We have named this military response Operation ‘FORTITUDE’.
In the case of COVID-19, the JTF provides, within means and capabilities, Aid to the Civil Authorities (ATCA) support to government departments and agencies (with priority to the Dept of Health and HSE), by providing personnel and equipment to a range of requests for support.
Brigadier General Kevin Campion has been appointed by government as the Commander of the JTF. Any Army, Air Corps and Naval Service components, combined for the purpose of conducting operations, are placed under command to General Campion for the duration of their contribution to this Public Health emergency.
WHERE IS IT LOCATED AND HOW DOES IT OPERATE?
The JTF headquarters (HQ) is located in McKee Barracks, Blackhorse Ave, Dublin 7, with a staff of circa 40 military personnel. It was established on 19th March 2020 and became fully operational on 26th March. The JTF HQ has been responding to all COVID-19 tasks from the HSE and is preparing contingency plans for anticipated requests from the Principal Response Agencies (PRAs) and the civil authorities into the future.
Additionally, the JTF has an ‘inter-agency’ capacity and, if requested can host Government and other agencies and authorities, in McKee Barracks.