Coordination Groups for Reconstruction and Stabilization
In addition to the NSC organizations, there are three interagency coordination groups for reconstruction and stabilization activities: Country Reconstruction & Stabilization Group (CRSG), Integration Planning Cell (IPC), and Advance Civilian Team (ACT). These three groups together comprise what is referred to as the Interagency Management System. These coordinating groups are established to manage emerging, highly complex crises and operations where there is widespread instability, multiple U.S. agencies involved, and a potential for military operations. When established, these groups provide integrated planning across agencies, coordination of interagency activities in the field, and civilian response capability. They are flexible in size and composition based on the particular requirements of a response.
When a significant crisis occurs or is emerging, the decision to respond is made through the NSC structure. The CRSG is a special PCC established to coordinate U.S. responses in Washington, prepare whole-of-government strategic plans, and facilitate operations and field support. The CRSG is unique in that it is supported by a full-time staff. The CRSG is co-chaired by the State Department regional Assistant Secretary, the State Department Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stability, and the relevant NSC staff. All agencies involved in the crisis are represented on the CRSG at the Assistant Secretary level.
IPCs are responsible for harmonizing civilian and military planning and operations for a particular response. An IPC is comprised of relevant interagency planners, regional experts, and functional experts. IPCs are sent to work with the planning staff at a geographic combatant command or a multinational headquarters. An IPC is organized around five functions: leadership, operations and information management, plans, support, and sectoral/regional expertise.
ACTs are rapidly deployable, cross-functional interagency teams that support a Chief of Mission in coordinating and conducting reconstruction and stabilization operations. If necessary, the ACT can deploy a number of Field ACTs to conduct reconstruction and stabilization operations at the provincial or local level. The primary functions of an ACT include coordinating and conducting operations, directing the activities of the Field ACTs, reporting information to the Embassy, military headquarters, the IPC and the CRSG, monitoring performance, and recommending adjustments to plans and programs. Field ACTs' primary tasks may include integrating and conducting reconstruction and stabilization operations, assessing conditions and plans, and providing reports to the ACT. ACTs and Field ACTs structure operations on major mission elements (strategic objectives e.g., such as disrupting paramilitary/criminal spoilers), rather than by individual separate agencies, with a single team coordinator named for each objective. This integrated structure supports unity of effort in operations, while simplifying integration of operations with military, international, and host nation organizations working to achieve similar objectives.