USNORTHCOM prepared to support Ernesto operations

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | August 29, 2006

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Ernesto’s progress and is prepared to respond to requests for support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a result of this storm.

Senior USNORTHCOM officials are coordinating with FEMA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Guard to ensure full situational awareness and appropriate response posture.

A Defense Coordinating Officer and Defense Coordinating Element are at the FEMA Region IV Regional Response Coordination Center in Atlanta, Ga. to conduct ongoing planning efforts with FEMA representatives. Regional Emergency Preparedness Officers have been activated and State Emergency Preparedness Officers are ready to deploy.

USNORTHCOM has also made several military installations available for use as logistical and personnel staging areas. Fort Rucker, Ala., Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. and Homestead Air Reserve base, Fla. have been designated as Federal Operational Staging Areas. Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. has been designated a Federal Operational Staging Area with Urban Search and Rescue support capability, and Fort Gillem, Ga. has been designated as a Federal Mobilization Center.

The Department of Defense is also supporting FEMA by moving a shipment of MREs (meals-ready-to-eat), water and ice to the southeast.

USNORTHCOM conducts operations to deter, prevent, and defeat threats and aggression aimed at the United States, its territories, and interests within the assigned area of responsibility and, as directed by the President or Secretary of Defense, provide military assistance to civil authorities including consequence management operations.