The Department of Defense is prepared to support potential hurricane recovery missions and has identified servicemembers and units to assist once Hurricane Floyd makes landfall.
The Army began 24-hour operations yesterday from its emergency operations center in the Pentagon and sent defense coordinating officers to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are coordinating relief efforts with representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the government's lead agency charged with overseeing domestic disaster relief.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has received $2.5 million in mission assignments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for emergency preparation and recovery from Hurricane Floyd.
The mission assignments include activating and deploying teams to purchase and distribute 700,000 pounds of ice and 450,000 gallons of water. The ice and water is being purchased today and can be moved within 24 hours to stricken areas. Five Planning and Response Teams (PRT) from the USACE Mississippi Valley Division deployed yesterday to the Southeastern United States to coordinate the purchase and distribution of ice and water. The five-to-six person teams are configured for specific missions such as purchasing ice and water; arranging emergency power, temporary roofing, housing and debris clearance. USACE has 38 PRT teams alerted, activated or deployed for Hurricane Floyd operations.
Two vehicle-mounted Deployable Tactical Operations Centers (DTOC) from Mobile, Ala., are enroute to the USACE preliminary mobilization-staging site at Fort Gillem, Ga., and will be in place today. The DTOCs are self-contained vehicle command centers. They have independent power supplies and sophisticated communications systems used to coordinate relief operations.
A team from USACE's 249th Engineering Battalion (Prime Power) arrives at Fort Gillem, Ga. today to prepare 280 generators prepositioned there. The generators will be deployed to support FEMA requests for emergency power for key facilities such as hospitals, shelters, and water plants.
Defense Department emergency operations centers are operational at Forces Command and First U.S. Army at Fort Gillem, Ga.
More than 6,300 Army and Air National Guard soldiers and airmen from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have been ordered to state active duty by their respective governors to assist local authorities in planning for and coping with the expected damage resulting from Hurricane Floyd.
Types of general support Guardsmen are currently providing include support to local law enforcement in one of the largest evacuation efforts in U.S. history. Guardsmen are also assisting law enforcement in providing physical security, traffic control transportation and providing temporary shelter for areas hardest hit by the storm. Missions the Guard could be called to provide in Floyd's aftermath include search and rescue operations, assistance to local law enforcement in property protection, traffic control, transportation, logistical support, communications, engineering and debris removal.
In Florida, more than 1,500 Florida Army National Guard troops were activated and ordered to report to Camp Blanding , approximately 60 miles Southwest of Jacksonville, Fla.
The Georgia Army National Guard currently has 800 Guardsmen on state active duty assisting local law enforcement officers with evacuation operations from the coastal Georgia areas. Georgia Guardsmen are also assisting law enforcement in securing evacuated areas, as well as planning engineering and debris removal operations.
South Carolina has activated close to 3,000 members of the state's Guard to assist law enforcement in security and support in the evacuation of more than 800,000 citizens from the low-lying coastal areas of the state.
The North Carolina Guard, still assisting in clean-up operations from Hurricane Dennis which hit the state last week, has more than 700 members currently on state active duty. The Guard is providing ongoing emergency assistance support with an intense focus on building a quick response capability. In addition to setting up a command and control network, the state has activated two Logistical Support Areas (LSA's) in the towns of Kinston and Baden. These LSA's will be building power generation and lighting teams and planning engineering support to potentially affected areas of the state
For more information from USACE, visit the USACE internet storm page, http://www.hq.usace.army.mil/cepa/hurricane.html, or call: (202) 761-1807.
- For more information on Guard activities within the states mentioned, news correspondents may call: Florida - Lt. Col. Greg Moore, (904) 823-0168; Georgia - Lt. Col.
- Ken Baldowski, (404) 624-6060; South Carolina - Maj.. Pete Brooks (803) 806-4327; North Carolina - Maj. Robert Jones - (919) 664-6244 and Virginia - Master Sgt. Dale Harter, (804) 298-6107.