The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today that it has established a new policy for the management of the Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer (EPLO) programs in each of the military services.
The new program guidance reinforces the Department's heightened commitment to support civil authorities in their response to catastrophic disasters and standardizes the qualifications for Reserve component military officers serving as liaisons with military and civilian emergency responders.
"The EPLO program is the focal point of our national efforts to codify, clarify and coordinate the roles and resources for disaster response here at home," said Charles L. Cragin, principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. "The new directive is critical; it forges common standards for all the Reserve officers who serve in this important role."
Since the mid 1970s, Reserve component EPLOs from the Army, Navy and Air Force have represented the federal military in each state and in each of the 10 regional offices of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In numerous disaster operations, they have coordinated the input of military personnel, equipment and supplies to support the emergency relief and cleanup efforts of civil authorities.
Standardized program guidance was developed because the military's role in responding to domestic emergencies is becoming increasingly complex. The new directive provides DoD guidance and oversight for the three military department EPLO programs in the areas of staffing, readiness, equipping, training, funding and exercises. Also, it ensures coordination with the Department of Transportation regarding Coast Guard requirements for EPLO support and opens the door for future Coast Guard participation in the DoD EPLO program.
For more information, please call Army National Guard Col. Terry Jones at (703) 693-8617. The directive is on the web at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/html/302516.htm .