Nearly 71,000 Troops Supporting Katrina Relief Efforts
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2005 The Defense Department established NORTHCOM in 2002 to consolidate homeland defense and civil support missions previously done by various military organizations under a single unified command.
A total of 70,916 troops are supporting disaster relief efforts in the area, NORTHCOM officials said. Of those, 20,800 are active duty and 50,116 are Army and Air National Guard.
Twenty-four ships - 17 Navy and seven Coast Guard - are stationed in the area, with one more ship en route, officials said.
More than 200 members of the Mexican army and 45 vehicles arrived at the former Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, where they will provide hot meals for up to 7,000 people, potable water and medical and dental assistance. The Mexican vessel MS Papaloapan and Dutch vessel HNLMS Van Amstel are in the Gulf Coast area and are coordinating relief operations with the USS Bataan.
To date, military personnel have delivered more than 31.4 million liters of water, 78.5 million pounds of ice and 15.4 million individually packaged military rations to areas in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Some 2,037 Defense Department medical personnel are in the area: 1,072 active duty and 965 National Guard. Three Air National Guard expeditionary medical support teams, consisting of about 80 doctors, nurses, medical technicians and support personnel, are deployed to some of the hardest-hit areas and are providing medical support to affected citizens and military personnel.
National Guard helicopters are supporting firefighting efforts throughout New Orleans, dropping more than 120,000 gallons of water over housing fires.