Northern Command Provides DoD Hurricane Support Update
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — U.S. Northern Command (NorthCom) provided an update in a Sept. 16 release as to the Defense Department (DoD) support to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) along with state and local responders in the wake of Hurricane Florence’s landfall.
NorthCom said DoD has assigned 13,470 personnel to support hurricane relief efforts. The specific numbers continue to change as individuals respond to the area, officials said. NorthCom serves as the overall synchronizer of all DoD support to FEMA. At present, response personnel include:
■ Active duty: 5,400
■ National Guard: 7,857
■ Army Corps of Engineers: 121
■ Defense Logistics Agency: 92
DoD also deployed 1,286 military assets to establish air and ground transportation and search-and-rescue capabilities. They are:
■ Rotary-wing aircraft: 100
■ Fixed-wing aircraft: 16
■ High-water vehicles: 1,154
■ Swift-water boats: 14
■ Navy amphibious ships: 2
The DoD authorizes local commanders to execute lifesaving actions to assist their local communities without waiting for orders. This is called local response authority.
On Sept. 14, upon request from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, provided shelter for displaced people around New Bern, North Carolina. In less than three hours, 209 people arrived by bus and were sheltered.
At the request of city officials in Onslow, North Carolina, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune sent two Humvees and two amphibious assault vehicles to assist in the rescue of about 20 stranded people near Piney Green road in Jacksonville. The Marines then transported the personnel to the Piney Green Volunteer Fire Department for follow on transfer to Onslow County shelters.
Additionally, Camp Lejeune dispatched 12 high-water vehicles at the request of Onslow city officials to support transport of state rescue personnel in the Onslow area.
The military services will perform accountability, damage assessments, recovery and preparation of forces for follow-on support at all of the installations in the affected areas. The DoD stands ready for assistance requests, the release said.