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NORTHCOM Supports Hurricane Dean Operations

American Forces Press Service

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., Aug. 19, 2007 – U.S. Northern Command officials are closely monitoring Hurricane Dean's progress and continue to respond to requests for Defense Department support in preparation for landfall.

At 11 a.m. Eastern Time today, the Category 4 storm was heading toward the Caribbean island of Jamaica with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph. It’s expected to make landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula early Tuesday.

NORTHCOM has deployed the following personnel to support the federal response:

-- The Region X defense coordinating officer and six-person defense coordinating element has deployed to Louisiana at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

-- The Region VI DCO and six-person DCE deployed to Texas at FEMA's request prior to landfall of Tropical Storm Erin remains on-site.

-- A 17-person team from Standing Joint Forces Headquarters North is deployed to Texas to support the Region VI DCO and Army North.

-- An eight-person global patient management team from U.S. Transportation Command will help coordinate aeromedical evacuation efforts, if needed.

-- A joint interagency air-ground coordination team from Air Forces Northern deployed at FEMA's request to assist FEMA and the Texas Emergency Operations Center and to help with aeromedical evacuation and search and rescue efforts, if needed.

-- The Region II DCO and DCE deployed to the Caribbean on Aug. 15, where they are supporting an advance FEMA emergency response team in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Should active-duty forces be requested to respond, the regional DCOs will provide their command and control and will facilitate requests for any additional Defense Department support through NORTHCOM.

Senior NORTHCOM officials said they are coordinating with FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Guard to ensure full situational awareness and appropriate response posture to Hurricane Dean.

NORTHCOM supports primary response agencies, as directed, as part of a comprehensive national response to manage consequences of natural or man-made disasters. The command also conducts operations to deter, prevent, and defeat threats and aggression aimed at the United States, its territories, and interests.

(From a U.S. Northern Command news release.)

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