By LTC Cynthia Teramae,TREX USARPACJuly 26, 2009
Lightning Rescue 09: a Joint Pandemic Influenza Interagency Exercise
What is it'
Lightning Rescue 09 is the U.S. Pacific Command's Joint Task Force - Homeland Defense (JTF-HD) sponsored joint-interagency Pandemic Influenza (PI) preparedness and response exercise that focuses on Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) in response to a PI situation in the state of Hawaii. The exercise provides an opportunity for joint civil-military response planning and training to validate and synchronize federal, state and local agencies' PI preparedness plans, and to exercise coordinated efforts in responding to a PI outbreak in Hawaii and across the Pacific.
What has the Army done'
JTF-HD in conjunction with interagency organizations is conducting Lightning Rescue 09 beginning July 27 in various locations on Oahu and continues through July 31 ending with a subject matter expert exchange between JTF-HD and PI planners from Honolulu city and county, Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii counties.
The exercise is a joint effort of over 20 organizations, DoD installations, and interagency partners. It will assess and exercise the PI plans and capabilities of all these organizations, while providing the opportunity to train in medical response, disaster planning and conduct interagency communications.
Additionally, foreign delegates from Japan and Vietnam will participate as observers to collect lessons learned for their own disaster management planning efforts. These delegates will also be afforded the opportunity to share with us some their planning considerations and experiences during the course of the week.
The exercise begins with DoD managers from each military installation coordinating their Installation Bio-Preparedness Plans with an emphasis on mitigating strategies. This will be followed by a table top exercise where a PI scenario will drive a joint/interagency exercise that will be facilitated by PI subject matter experts from the state of Hawaii Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, and DoD service components.
Why is this important to the Army'
Pandemic influenza is a real threat. Exercising cooperation and coordination between DoD and our interagency partners to conduct Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations is essential for our nation. Preparing now can limit the severity of a pandemic and save lives.
JTF-HD Web page