DOD, FEMA team on Irene recovery

In a week where the East Coast suffered an earthquake and a hurricane, federal agencies found their disaster response capabilities tested. The Defense Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency teamed up for the hurricane to make for effective disaster preparedness and mitigation.

As Hurricane Irene churned northward, heading first for the Carolinas and then the Middle Atlantic and northeastern states, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the U.S. Northern Command to support FEMA with bases, personnel, ships, and ground and air transport. The military facilities at Fort Bragg, N.C.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix at Lakehurst, N.J.; Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass; and Fort A.P. Hill, Va., were designated as FEMA incident support bases where supplies and equipment were prepositioned ahead of the storm. For example, DOD officials said that 225 non-DOD trucks loaded with food, water, generators and equipment were prepositioned at Fort Bragg.

According to DOD, the Northern Command is supporting 16 FEMA-requested mission assignments. Eighteen military helicopters were deployed to the East Coast to support supply, recovery and search and rescue operations. Eight of the aircraft deployed from Fort Stewart, Ga., to Fort Drum N.Y. Ten helicopters are aboard the amphibious assault ship U.S.S. Wasp, which left the naval base at Norfolk, Va. ahead of the storm and is now moving up the coast to support recovery operations in the Northeast.

DOD also signed memorandums of agreement with states to allow for the rapid designation of a dual-status commander when and where they are needed. Dual-status commanders command both state National Guard and federal military forces on the behalf of a state governor and the president and the secretary of defense. This dual-role allows all military forces to work together in a coordinated manner, DOD officials said.

As of Saturday, Aug. 27, four dual-status commanders have been appointed:

  • Brig. Gen. James Trogden III, North Carolina Army National Guard.
  • Brig. Gen. Carolyn Protzmann, New Hampshire Air National Guard.
  • Brig. Gen. Michael Swezey, New York Army National Guard.
  • Col. Donald Lagor, Rhode Island Air National Guard.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Fri, Sep 2, 2011

As bad as the DoD logistics system is, compared to civilian-side supply systems, it is organized and efficient. FEMA disaster response should be considered just another military mission, so they can go into any DoD base and draw what they need. In some cases they do it already, but the paperwork could be considerably simplified.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group