U.S. Northern Command assists with North Dakota Flooding

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | March 29, 2009

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - U.S. Northern Command continues to coordinate additional and ongoing Department of Defense's support to Federal Emergency Management Agency, state and local authorities in North Dakota and Minnesota supporting disaster operations in response to flooding in North Dakota.

New – Minnesota

  • Mobilized a Defense Coordinating Officer and Defense Coordinating Element to FEMA Region V Regional Response Coordination Center in Bismarck, N.D., in response to the flooding. The DCO acts as the liaison between FEMA and USNORTHCOM, relaying capabilities available to FEMA and coordinating movement of active-duty personnel and equipment to assist should the need arise. The DCE acts as administrative support to the DCO.

Ongoing – North Dakota

  • Deploying five CH-47 Chinook helicopters to Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., for a variety of missions in support of FEMA. Potential missions include search and rescue, supply transportation, and movement of evacuees or other response personnel.
  • Deploying two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., for a variety of missions in support of FEMA. Potential missions include search and rescue, supply transportation, and movement of evacuees or other response personnel.
  • Deploying three Search and Rescue planners from U.S. Northern Command’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., to assist in SAR planning at the Joint Personnel Recovery Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. These three planners from Standing Joint Force Headquarters North division of USNORTHCOM will assist in the efforts being conducted at the JRPC, which focuses specifically on large-scale search and rescue operations in the event of a hurricane or natural disaster. When a disaster occurs, the JPRC activates and coordinates the SAR actions of all rescue aircraft in the disaster area to improve the efficiency of rescue operations and reduce the potential for mishaps.
  • Providing two search and rescue planners from Air Forces Northern at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. to the Joint Personnel Recovery Center.
  • U.S. Northern Command, in coordination with Air Forces Northern, is sending one aviation planner to the North Dakota Emergency Operations Center to prepare for potential SAR missions in the affected areas.
  • FEMA requested, and USNORTHCOM is supporting, Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., as a National Logistics Staging Area. The NLSA will consist of five to 10 acres of space, including 1,000 square feet of office space, necessary to support forward distribution of supplies and equipment to affected areas in North Dakota. The airfield at the base is also being used to forward stage Active Duty helicopters indicated in the new portion of the release.
  • Mobilized a Defense Coordinating Officer and Defense Coordinating Element to FEMA Region VIII Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) in Bismarck, N.D., in response to the flooding. The DCO acts as the liaison between FEMA and USNORTHCOM, relaying capabilities available to FEMA and coordinating movement of active-duty personnel and equipment to assist should the need arise. The DCE acts as administrative support to the DCO.

U.S. Northern Command, established in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, is responsible for Homeland Defense and Defense Support of Civil Authorities.