Statement by the Press Secretary on Foreign and Domestic Crisis Management

March 24, 1981

I am confirming today the President's decision to have the Vice President chair the administration's crisis management team, as a part of the National Security Council system.

The purpose of this team is to coordinate and control all appropriate Federal resources in responding to emergency situations both foreign and domestic. The type of incident that might be involved ranges from an isolated terrorist attack to an attack upon United States territory by a hostile power.

During any emergency, the President would of course be available to make all critical decisions and to chair the crisis management team as his presence may be needed. Vice President Bush's role is to chair the team in the absence of the President. Of great importance, he will also engage in forward planning for emergency responses, develop options for Presidential consideration, and take the lead in the implementation of those decisions.

President Reagan's choice of the Vice President was guided in large measure by the fact that management of crises has traditionally -- and appropriately -- been done within the White House.

As in the past, the National Security Council staff will provide the administrative and other staff support to the President and the Vice President for the crisis management team.