AFNORTH helps fight fires

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | October 24, 2007

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Air Forces Northern is deploying an Air Component Coordination Element, or ACCE, to support firefighting operations in Southern California. The ACCE is an Air Force team designed to perform the command and control function for Air Force assets supporting the efforts. 

When the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested DOD resources to help with the relief operations in Southern California, AFNORTH sent the eight-person element to coordinate any airlift, aeromedical evacuation, medical support, aerial assessment and civil engineering capabilities as needed.

“Like all citizens, we are saddened by the loss of life and property,” said Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, AFNORTH commander.  “America’s Air Force has answered the call for assistance to the California wildfire crisis. Our folks are working long hours to help Americans in need.”

“Defense support to civil authorities is a total team and interagency effort,” said Brig. Gen. Bob Tarter, commander of the ACCE team. “We coordinate all USAF capabilities for the task force, and work directly with civilian experts to support their operations. Due to the cooperation of military and civil authorities we will be able to save lives and mitigate property damage.”

The ACCE is helping to provide critical Air Force assistance in areas needing it most; delivering essential supplies, conducting vital command and control of rescues and evacuation of survivors from the disaster area. 

Further details will be provided as they become available.  For more information contact AFNORTH Public Affairs at 850-283-8657.