By Mr. Paul Boyce (FORSCOM)June 1, 2007
As the United States enters the 2007 Hurricane Season June 1 the Department of the Army and its leadership are working to ensure that all components of the United States Army are fully equipped and trained to support the individual states in the event of a hurricane or crisis. The Stafford Act and the National Response Plan give the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) the lead in responding to any disaster. The Army is prepared to assist civil authorities, if requested.
Army leaders paid particular attention to ensuring the Army National Guard has enough equipment to respond fully to the needs of the governors. On May 3, The Adjutants General (TAGs) from hurricane-prone states and territories reported to the Army on their preparedness for dealing with hurricanes from levels one through five. The TAGs briefed the Army leadership on their requirements in terms of equipment critical to providing hurricane or storm relief.
Because of the Army's proficiency in providing engineer, medical, transportation, and logistical capabilities, the majority of the TAGs are confident they can respond with limited assistance to any hurricane at the category three level or below. However, seven states - Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia., South Carolina, North Carolina and Hawaii -- along with Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands asked for additional assistance. The Army is moving aggressively to provide that support.
To ensure all of the Guard units have their complement of hurricane-relief equipment, the active Army will divert newly produced and newly repaired equipment to the Guard, while loaning and transferring other equipment from active component units. None of the equipment provided by the active component will affect units deploying in support of the Global War against Terror. Furthermore, the U.S. Army Reserves will support with the appropriate units and some equipment will be cross-leveled within the Army National Guard.
To date, the U.S. Army has delivered more than 2,100 items of equipment. Additionally, the U.S. Army Reserve is prepared to augment the states with engineer and logistical capabilities and Soldiers and equipment are already located within the geographic area.
Equally important, the U.S. Army North, which is the Army's Service Component Command to U.S. Northern Command, and FEMA conducted extensive planning and training with those states most vulnerable to hurricanes. In April, the Army conducted an internal rehearsal exercising all three components to support the National Guard's response to a state-wide weather-related crisis. In May the Army participated in a combined exercise involving, cities, counties, states and federal responders.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts between 13 and 17 named storms this year indicating an above average hurricane season. With the likelihood of a hurricane landing on the U.S. mainland above 70 percent, the Army has a relief plan and our Soldiers are well equipped, well trained, and are ready to respond. The Army is confident it can fulfill both its Title 10 and Title 32 roles to support federal, state, and local authorities in the event of category four or five hurricane.
The Army Operations Center at the Pentagon is in full support of the National Guard and the respective states and territories in the event of a hurricane or significant storm. Hurricane relief efforts and status can be accessed at https://www.g357public.army.mil/orgs/damoodo/.
- 30 -
For more information, media may contact Lt. Col. Carl S. Ey at 703-614-2487.