FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Army News Service, April 13, 2007) - U.S. Army North wrapped up a three-day Rehearsal of Concept exercise here today in preparation of this year's hurricane season.

As U.S. Northern Command's Army Service Component Command, ARNORTH is responsible for conducting homeland defense and civil support operations within the NORTHCOM area.

The hurricane rehearsal allowed ARNORTH staff, defense coordinating officers and representatives from such federal agencies as the Federal Emergency Management Agency to review actions the command would take in response to two different hurricane scenarios.

"The ROC drill's focus was to involve as many interagency partners as possible and rehearse ARNORTH employment for incidents of national significance to better understand how all are interrelated," said Mr. Charlie Canedy, chief of ARNORTH's Commander's Initiative Group.

ARNORTH began establishing close working relationships with federal, state and local disaster preparedness and response agencies upon its activation in October 2005.

According to Mr. Tom Davies, federal coordinating office for FEMA Region III, the rehearsal will help the federal government be better prepared to respond to disasters.

"Understanding how you roll out and the complexities of DOD is key (for federal disaster response)," he said.

Col. Frank Kosich, Region I DCO, said the rehearsal exercise was a good venue for ARNORTH and its federal partners to discuss DOD's role in disaster preparedness and response.

"This was a thorough rehearsal. It prompted good dialogue and exchange about the challenges DOD has in assessing risks and making decisions associated with providing support to the lead federal agency in response to an event of this magnitude," he said.

ARNORTH's hurricane preparations will culminate with Exercise Ardent Sentry in May.

"Ardent Sentry '07 will be the capstone event in our preparatory activities for hurricane season," Col. Kosich said. "The exercise will tell us whether we are ready to rock and roll. I'm looking forward to it."