USNORTHCOM conducts medical evacuations, prepares for post-landfall Ike search and rescue operations

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | September 10, 2008

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – U.S. Northern Command is coordinating Department of Defense support to FEMA, state and local response in anticipation of Hurricane Ike and preparing for its potential landfall in the United States.

The following is a list of DoD assets and personnel that are part of U.S. Northern Command’s support efforts:

NEW OPERATIONS:

  • USNORTHCOM’s Air Forces Northern is establishing a search and rescue unit in preparation of Hurricane Ike landfall. The unit, 331st Air Expeditionary Group, is responsible for search and rescue operations and will be located at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Texas.

ONGOING OPERATIONS:

  • USNORTHCOM is providing aeromedical evacuation of medical patients from Corpus Christi Airport, Corpus Christi, Texas. To support the medical evacuation efforts, the following addition supporting assets were deployed:

- Three Mobile Aeromedical Staging Facility teams deployed: the 6th Air Mobility Wing, stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.; the 43rd Air Mobility Wing, stationed at Pope Air Force Base, N.C.; and the 375th Air Mobility Wing stationed at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The mission of the MASF team is to receive patients from any type of situation and prepare them for flight.

- Ten Critical Care Air Transport teams deployed to assist in the medical evacuation. These CCAT teams are made up of a physician, a critical care nurse and a cardio-pulmonary technician. The critical care air transport and aeromedical evacuation teams are a group of highly specialized nurses, physicians, medical technicians and respiratory therapists charged with the responsibility of patient care during medical flying missions and play a vital role in saving lives.

- Additionally, Joint Patient Movement Teams deployed to support medial evacuation of ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients from hospitals to assist in the aeromedical evacuation from this location.

  • USNORTHCOM is providing medium lift, rotary wing military aircraft to conduct search-and-rescue efforts and movement of personnel and supplies in support of disaster operations in the affected region.

  • USNORTHCOM, working with U.S. Air Forces Northern, is providing personnel and air management systems in direct support of the Texas Military Forces Aviation Coordination Group. These assets will assist Texas in managing air operations during operation in response to Hurricane Ike in Texas.

  • DoD has designated the military installation of Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as a FEMA National Logistics Staging Areas to support forward distribution of supplies and equipment to affected areas as required prior to Hurricane Ike making landfall.
  • Defense Coordinating Officers/Elements for FEMA Regions X and VI have been activated in support of the response to Hurricane Ike to support FEMA as the lead federal agency. They are located in Austin, Texas and will work very closely through FEMA with other federal, tribal, state, and local officials to determine what unique DoD capabilities can be brought to assist in mitigating the effects of a natural disaster.

U.S. Air Forces Northern is the air component to U.S. Northern Command, located in Colorado Springs, Colo. First Air Force/AFNORTH assist USNORTHCOM in fulfilling its Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities missions.

U.S. Army North provides defense support of civil authorities as the Army component of U.S. Northern Command.

USNORTHCOM’s subordinate commands are Joint Forces Headquarters National Capital Region, Joint Task Force Alaska, Joint Task Force Civil Support, Joint Task Force North, and Standing Joint Force Headquarters North.

USNORTHCOM is the joint combatant command formed in the wake of the Sept.11, 2001 terrorist attacks to provide homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities. Supporting FEMA, state and local response in anticipation of Hurricane Ike, USNORTHCOM is preparing for the hurricane’s potential landfall in the United States.