U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Resource: U.S. Coast Guard National Strike Force
Category: HazMat (ESF #10)
Kind: Team
Minimum Capabilities (Component) Minimum Capabilities
Type I Type II Type III Type IV Other
NSF Specialized Response Equipment Chemical Release





Chemical Response Trailers; Level A, B, and C PPE suits
Portable Chemical Detection Instruments Air, Liquids, and Solids





Flame and Photo Ionization Detectors
        Particulate Meters
        Soil and Sludge Sample Kits
        pH meters
        Decontamination Equipment
        Portable Weather stations
        Drum lifters
        EMT kits
        Chlorine kits
NSF Specialized Response Equipment Small Boats





32-foot and 24-foot Munsons
        15-foot Inflatable boats
        18-foot John boats
NSF Specialized Response Equipment Lighting/ Pumping Equipment





Ready Pump Loads
hydraulically driven,
centrifugal submersible
pumps capable of
transferring oil and
chemicals or dewatering
        Nonsubmersible diaphragm and peristaltic pumps capable of transferring oil and chemicals (medium/small capacity)
        Hydraulic prime movers and support equipment
NSF Specialized Response Equipment Communications Equipment         Communications support equipment ranges from handheld radios to portable satellite communications repeater systems
NSF Specialized Response Equipment Oil Discharges         Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System (VOSS)
        Inflatable (45-inch) boom (6,000 feet)
        Temporary Storage Devices
NSF Specialized Response Equipment Damage Control and Support         Oil/water interface meter
Plugging and patching equipment
Generators (3.0 KW to
10 KW)
NSF Specialized Response Equipment Special Monitoring Equipment         Radiological detection capabilities
        Dispersant operations

NSF Specialized Response Equipment

Photographic Equipment 35 mm and digital cameras 35 mm and digital cameras 35 mm and digital cameras 35 mm and digital cameras 35 mm and digital cameras
Video cameras and players Video cameras and players Video cameras and players Video cameras and players Video cameras and players
NSF Specialized Response Equipment Vehicle Command Post         Tractor/trailer units
        Mobile Incident Command Posts
        All-terrain vehicles


There are only three National Strike Force teams in the Nation. All three National Strike Force teams have the same level of capability, which exceeds the standards set in the Mutual Aid definition of a Type I Hazardous Materials Entry Team. However, because of their deployment capabilities and versatility, they are simply classified as “Other.” The U.S. Coast Guard National Strike Force (NSF) was created in 1973 as a Coast Guard special force under the National Contingency Plan (NCP/see 40 CFR 300.145) to respond to oil and hazardous chemical incidents. The National Strike Force is comprised of three 40-member Strike Teams and the National Strike Force Coordination Center (NSFCC), which manages, supports, and set standards for the three teams. The three teams are: the Atlantic Strike Team in Fort Dix, NJ; the Gulf Strike Team in Mobile, AL; and the Pacific Strike Team in Novato, CA.

The NSF is recognized worldwide as an expert in preparedness and response to mitigate the effects of oil discharges and hazardous substance releases. Its mandate is to assist and support USCG and EPA Federal On-Scene Coordinators (FOSCs) with their response and preparedness activities to protect the public health and welfare and the environment. Although its three primary missions are pollution response, training, and planning, the NSFCC also houses a Public Information Assist Team (PIAT), which is capable of providing public affairs support as well as crisis communication and Joint Information Center (JIC) expertise to FOSCs during a response.

NSF Qualification Program:
The NSF Qualification Program includes four levels. Although these levels are unique to the NSF, our personnel meet training and skill requirements similar to those established in 29 CFR 1910.120 (g) (6).

Response Member (RM): Is trained in more than 50 areas of oil and HazMat response operations and attains an awareness level of all NSF Equipment. This allows the RM to perform a number of vital functions in a pollution response, primarily assisting the RT.

Response Technician (RT): Is a significant level beyond the RM and is the position reached by most Strike Team members. An RT is qualified to operate all NSF equipment. An RT has also attended pollution response specialist courses and obtained significant field experience on oil and HazMat incidents.

Response Supervisor (RS): Is a level beyond RT and supervises the technical aspects of NSF response operations at oil or HazMat incidents. This includes the preparation, deployment, and operation of all NSF equipment. The RS helps a response in many areas, including directing operations, response planning, resolving site safety issues, and solving technical problems.

Response Officer (RO): Is a senior leadership position filled by a commissioned or warrant officer. An RO manages all aspects of any size NSF response, including response planning, mobilization, and operations. An RO receives significant resident and unit training, and field experience. An RO can fill key positions in a spill management team, direct operations, liaise with senior officials, resolve safety issues, recommend alternative countermeasures, explain policies, and solve crisis management problems.

National Mutual Aid & Resource Management Initiative