U.S. Northern Comman provides flood support to Hawkeye State

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | June 04, 2013

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. –At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Northern Command recently activated a Defense Coordinating Officer and supporting staff element to FEMA’s Region VII to support flood response efforts in Iowa.

The DCO and three members from the Defense Coordinating Element typically provide persons with knowledge of the area, assist in validating emergency requirements, provide Search and Rescue planners, Medical planners, and other liaison personnel to coordinate with FEMA . DCE’s are normally nine-person teams that serve as the single point of entry for all local, tribal, state, and federal requests for DoD assistance. DCEs work very closely with government officials to determine what unique DOD capabilities can be employed to mitigate effects of the flooding and to provide support to local communities, as requested.

The Department of Defense has capabilities that can be used to save lives as well as many other unique support capabilities such as airlift, medical, engineering, communications and catastrophic planning.

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. U.S. Army North provides defense support of civil authorities as the Army component of USNORTHCOM, the combatant command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., that is responsible for homeland defense and civil support.