Exercise Lightning Rescue 08 Tests Joint Interagency cooperation

Friday August 1, 2008

What is it?

Lightning Rescue 08 is a U.S. Pacific Command mandated Joint Task Force for Homeland Defense (JTF-HD) exercise to test federal, state and local agencies' coordinated efforts in responding to pandemic influenza or other natural as well as manmade disasters throughout the Pacific. It is designed to enhance Pacific region disaster management authorities' response to a wide range of disasters, specifically pandemic influenza.

What has the Army done?

JTF-HD in conjunction with interagency organizations conducted Lightning Rescue 08 from July 21 at the Honolulu International Airport and continued through July 25 at the Naval Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai.

The exercise was a joint effort of over 40 organizations, units and interagency partners. It showcased the capabilities of all these agencies providing expertise in medical response, air evacuation and communications.

Honolulu International Airport hosted the first phase of the exercise beginning July 22. In this initial simulated scenario, a commercial passenger aircraft arrived from a foreign nation, carrying passengers who had potentially been exposed to or infected by avian flu.

The exercise continued at the Naval Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai where JTF-HD established and operated a second training site when the scenario called for a quarantine area.

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 to Civil Authorities (DSCA) operations is essential for our nation. Preparing now can limit the severity of a pandemic and save lives.

JTF-HD is the USPACOM executive agent for Joint Services' multi-domain situational awareness, all land domain Homeland Defense (HD), and, when approved by the Secretary of Defense, Defense Support of Civil Authorities within the JTF-HD Joint Operations Area (JOA).


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July 28 - Aug. 3, 2008: 50th Anniversary of NASA

Aug. 6, 2008: Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Aug. 16, 2008: 25th Anniversary of Army Family Action Plan


"Our troops are tremendous because they know there's a lot at stake, and what's at stake is nothing less than the kind of future that we want for our children...nothing less than the power of our values and our civilization...whether our children will continue to enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy today."

-Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. George W. Casey, Jr.


"We have to be a learning institution. We can't be risk adverse. We have to be disciplined, responsible, and accountable. But, at each level we have to have the maturity and courage to look at something that didn't go right, make corrections in a positive and constructive way, and be able to underwrite honest mistakes."

-Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Richard A. Cody

Farewell General Richard A. Cody


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