The Joint Northeast Counterdrug Task Force grew out of a provision in the 1989 Federal Defense Appropriations Bill, authorizing the National Guard to offer support to law enforcement personnel engaged in counter narcotic operations.
Each state has its own plan, based on federal guidelines, but all provide trained personnel, visual observation posts, infrared/thermal imaging surveillance equipment and helicopter support to law enforcement departments.
Also offered are drug reduction education programs for schools. The Pennsylvania National Guard began implementing the program in 1996.
The Northeast Counterdrug Training Center was founded in 1999 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville. Again, funding was provided through a provision in the Federal Defense Appropriations Bill.
The mission of the NCTC is to provide drug law enforcement and demand reduction agencies with the necessary facilities, instruction and support they need.
The facility provides a modern, professional environment for training, conferences and planning sessions.
The training center and task force are the cornerstones of successful partnerships based on military and civilian co-operation.
Both, however, are in danger of being cancelled or phased out due to defense budget cuts. Those cuts are put of the 2011 Federal Defense Appropriations Bill passed by the U.S. Congress late in 2010.
Individual states will now have to decide if they can find the funding needed to keep the programs operating.