DOD Continues Support for Hurricane Sandy Response Efforts
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2012 The Department of Defense remains fully engaged in the ongoing federal disaster response efforts underway in the eastern and northeastern United States as a result of Hurricane Sandy, according to DOD officials.
In the context of its current support activities, officials said, the department is focusing on providing support to civilian efforts to restore power to vital facilities and to assist with the resumption of mass transit services in the New York and New Jersey area.
The USS Wasp is due to arrive off the coast of New York today, and the USS San Antonio and the USS Carter Hall will arrive in the area Nov. 2, officials said. Once in place, these vessels will be prepared to support potential missions in support of civil authorities. They will also be available to provide refueling and command and control of DOD helicopter support missions in the area.
Other available DOD assets include:
-- Four MH-60S Seahawk helicopters with rescue swimmers are onboard the USS San Antonio and are ready for tasking.
-- Four MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters are scheduled to fly to the USS Wasp today from Norfolk, Va., joining two MH-60S Seahawk helicopters with rescue swimmers already onboard the Wasp.
-- DOD continues to support the un-watering mission and is currently moving 120 high-flow water pumps with more than 400 qualified personnel to New York and New Jersey. DOD elements are also performing an assessment of the Hoboken terminal alongside local, state, and federal civilian partners.
-- Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta approved the use of National Defense Reserve Fleet vessels for first responder lodging in New York and New Jersey. Three ships -- the TS Empire State, TS Kennedy, and FV Wright -- will support lodging as requested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The TS Empire State is currently in New York and was used last night to shelter on-site first responders.
-- Also at the request of FEMA, DOD continues to provide Westover Air Reserve Base in Massachusetts, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, and a federal staging area at Fort Devens in Massachusetts as incident support bases and base support installations.
-- Eight active duty helicopters are in place at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., to support search and rescue and logistics missions.
The following forces are prepared to deploy within 24 hours in response to anticipated FEMA requests to respond the effects of Hurricane Sandy:
-- Fourteen helicopters are available for awareness and assessment and search and rescue missions. Approximately eight heavy lift aircraft are available for potential evacuations.
-- Engineer and logistical support units are also available.
U.S. Transportation Command completed the transport of 120 medical professionals into the affected areas yesterday. These disaster medical assistance teams include doctors and nurses that are caring for at-risk nursing home residents and other at-risk elderly persons.
The Defense Logistics Agency is delivering 55 truckloads of food, a total of 1.5 million meals, to New York from Charleston and Martinsburg, W.Va. The last of these trucks will arrive this evening. An additional 1.3 million meals are staged at vendor facilities, awaiting movement orders.
Vendors are also ramping up to produce an additional 1.3 million to 2.8 million meals per day, depending on FEMA requirements.
Sixty fuel trucks, carrying approximately 200,000 gallons of fuel, have arrived at incident support bases at Westover Air Reserve Base in Massachusetts and McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. An additional 600,000 gallons of fuel, with trucks, are available in Virginia.
Three 1,500 kilowatt-hour and higher-capacity generators are scheduled to arrive at the incident support base at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey Nov. 3.
DLA is ready to assist civilian authorities with temporary emergency power through 200 generators staged at forward locations. The United States Army Corps of Engineers has teams deployed to strategic locations in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and has the resources to haul, install, operate and maintain generators where requested.
The New York and New Jersey National Guard continues to stand up forces for response and recovery operations. The Guard’s New York relief efforts are focused on Nassau and Suffolk counties, Long Island, and the New York City area.
More than 2,300 New York National Guardsmen are on duty conducting search and rescue, logistics and harbor patrol missions and assisting with neighborhood health and comfort searches and transportation for engineers.
Nearly 2,100 New Jersey National Guardsman are supporting New Jersey responders with shelter support, debris removal and power generation missions.
The National Guard deployed eight light/medium lift helicopters to the incident support base at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey to conduct search and rescue operations. The Guard also has 198 light/medium and four heavy lift rotary-wing aircraft available for reconnaissance and personnel/cargo carrying missions.