The Anchor Capability Regional Response Concept was developed in 2005. It began with a study to address the need for improving North Dakota’s ability to respond to a CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear, Explosive) event across the entire state.

To meet this need, the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services entered into a cooperative agreement beginning 2008 with Cass, Burleigh, Ward Counties and the City of Grand Forks to initiate a statewide comprehensive regional response program. The program places personnel and resources into four geographic regions to provide the mechanism for a coordinated response to a CBRNE incident. The program originally only supported hazardous materials emergency response teams, but has grown over the years to include bomb squads, special weapons and tactical teams, ambus teams, and search and rescue teams.

The four regional coordinators provide technical support on planning, training, and exercise activities to the regional teams; city, county, and tribal emergency managers; and all other first responder disciplines. They assist in helping jurisdictions determine their equipment needs and they act as a liaison between local jurisdictions and the state during emergency or disaster events.