The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), along with eight (8) other partners, organized the Louisiana Biological Threats Working Group (LBTWG) in 2009. Adding partners in 2011, the LBTWG morphed into the Louisiana Chemical + Biological + Radiological + Nuclear + Explosives Working Group (LA CBRNE-WG).
The focus of the Working Group is to identify and prevent potential terrorist threats. The initiatives of the Working Group are intended to enhance all investigations, including public health and intelligence, as well as national and international investigations.
It is the LA-CBRNE-WG’s vision to improve multi-agency weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) terrorism identification, joint law enforcement (LE) and public health epidemiological investigative protocols. The efforts of LA-CBRNE-WG include establishing improved notification and assessments of potential CBRNE threats and coordination of information.
In addition to all-crimes, the mission of the Louisiana Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosives Working Group (LA-CBRNE-WG) unit includes serving all hazards, and natural disasters are another critical area of alertness and preparation. The unit is a key component of the State’s disaster preparedness planning and emergency response, including catastrophic weather events, floods and wildfire.
Being prepared for chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear incidents takes regular exercise and conduct drilling. That builds partnerships across communities so if part of the infrastructure is overwhelmed by a natural disaster, the system can still provide care.
By strengthening systems and building coalitions with its partners, LA-CBRNE-WG is dedicated to protecting Louisiana and its citizens.
Natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding and tornados are also a primary concern because Louisiana is affected by three (3) Fixed Nuclear Facilities, and the State is also home to a wealth of oil and gas industry structures. All can be threatened during natural disasters and demand an integrated CBRNE response.
Working Group partners
The LA-CBRNE Working Group consists of members from all the State and Federal agencies that play a part in the prevention or response to CBRNE incidents. This group continues to travel the State to serve as an education and information-sharing venue to State, local, Federal, and Tribal entities throughout Louisiana.