U.S. Northern Command is fully engaged with Federal, State, and Territorial mission partners as the command balances support to the response for Hurricane Maria and the planning for and pre-positioning of DoD assets in preparation for Hurricane Nate.
In support of potential Hurricane Nate impacts, USNORTHCOM has activated Defense Coordinating Officers with defense supporting staff elements to the FEMA Regional Response Coordinating Centers for Region VI in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Region IV in Atlanta. This provides to the states and regions DoD regional knowledge, requirements validation and liaison.
USNORTHCOM’s current Marine Forces North will be the lead component if we are requested to respond.
U.S. Fleet Forces has deployed the USS New York with elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in order to be in position to support the gulf coast region in the event assistance is needed. The USS New York is capable of providing medical support, maritime civil affairs, maritime security, expeditionary logistic support, medium and heavy lift air support, and brings diverse skills including assessment and security.
DoD is also leaning forward to support states that may be potentially impacted by the hurricane by preparing a search and rescue package and coordinating element, light-, medium- and heavy-lift helicopters, an Air Expeditionary Group (for support operations), an E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System, trucks and general purpose boats.
Additionally, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, has stood up as an Installation Support Base to support the staging of response personnel and provide assets to support the distribution of supplies to affected areas.
USNORTHCOM's mission is to assist lead federal relief agencies in helping those affected by natural disasters to minimize suffering while continuing its mission of defending the Homeland.