USNORTHCOM Continues Preparations in Anticipation of Hurricane Gustav

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | August 31, 2008

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – U.S. Northern Command is coordinating department of defense’s support to FEMA, state and local response efforts in preparation for Hurricane Gustav’s landfall in the Southern 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:

  • Canada Command deployed a CC-177 Globemaster aircraft from Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario, to Lakefront Airport in New Orleans to conduct evacuation operations ahead of Hurricane Gustav. This is the first time that U.S. Northern Command and Canada Command have used the Civil Assistance Plan to coordinate Canadian military support in response to a threatening natural disaster in the United States. The Civil Assistance Plan is a bilateral Canada-United States plan, signed earlier this year on Feb. 14, 2008 that facilitates military-to-military cooperation in support of a civil emergency in either country.

ONGOING OPERATIONS:

  • USNORTHCOM is forward positioning an Operational Command Post for command and control of Title 10 deployed military forces responding as part of a federal hurricane relief effort to England Airpark, Alexandria, La. The operational command post can quickly receive augmentation and further support hurricane relief efforts in close cooperation and in support of civil authorities.
  • USNORTHCOM, working with U.S. Transportation Command, has provided military and contracted airlift and moved general population passengers and cargo from New Orleans to Nashville, Tenn.; San Antonio, Texas; Louisville, Ky.; and Ft. Smith, Ark. Department of Defense aeromedical evacuation capabilities evacuated patients from Louisiana and patients from Texas. The operations began Saturday and continued today.
  • The Department of Defense is providing a wide range of military aircraft to conduct movement of personnel and supplies, and search-and-rescue efforts in support of disaster operations.
  • Four Defense Coordinating Officers and Defense Coordinating Elements have been activated in support of Federal Emergency Management Regions IV (Clanton, Ala., and Clinton, Miss.) and Region VI (Baton Rouge, La., and Austin, Texas) to provide assessment and coordination as required. DCOs work very closely with federal, state, tribal and local officials to determine what unique DoD capabilities can be brought to assist in mitigating the effects of a natural disaster. 
  • Two Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers (Region IV and Region VI) were activated to the FEMA National Response Coordination Center, Washington, D.C. 
  • Five military installations have been designated as FEMA National Logistics Staging Areas to support forward distribution of supplies and equipment to affected areas as required. The installations include Columbus Air Force Base, Miss; Ft. Rucker, Ala.; Ft. Benning, Ga.; Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; and Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss.

USNORTHCOM is closely monitoring Hurricane Gustav’s progress and continues to respond to requests for DoD support in preparation for landfall.

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.  USNORTHCOM anticipates requests, actions and requirements to support developing situations. Its 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.

The command is responsible for the operational control of all active-duty military responses to a disaster when requested by the state and ordered by the president and the secretary of defense.