A recent report stated the U.S. military would not be ready if there was a catastrophic attack on the country.
The 400-page report from an independent commission found the National Guard and Reserves did not have enough "trained and ready forces" available to respond to a chemical, biological or nuclear attack. The report found there was "an appalling gap that places the nation and its citizens at greater risk."
The report also pointed to the strain on the U.S. military from fighting two wars and said the Pentagon must make the National Guard and Reserves a more integral part of the military.
It was also recommended that the Defense Department use soldiers to create an operational force that would be fully trained, equipped and ready to defend the nation.
In response, Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, chief of U.S. Northern command, said the Pentagon is gathering a team that would do just that.
"The capability for the Defense Department to respond to a chemical, biological event exists now," Gen. Renuart said. "It, today, is not as robust as we would like because of the demand on the forces that we've placed across the country...but I could respond."
Renuart added that over the next year, specific active duty, Guard and Reserve units will be trained and assigned to a response force totaling about 4,000 troops that would include medical and logistics forces.
Sources: The Associated Press, CBN News