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DOD Support for U.S. Response to Wildfires in Hawaii

The Department of Defense is supporting the FEMA-led response to the wildfires in Hawaii. Alongside other interagency partners – including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Forest Service, and the Small Business Administration – and state and local partners, the Department is facilitating the movement of resources and personnel to support ongoing response efforts.


This data is accurate as of 11:00 a.m. ET on Sept. 7, 2023

Recent Updates

The Department of Defense is providing periodic updates to reflect ongoing developments as it continues to execute mission assignments to support FEMA. Altogether, approximately 674 DOD personnel are actively engaged in the coordinated response to the Western Maui Wildfire.

The Department of Defense is executing nine approved mission assignments to support FEMA. These nine assignments include:

  • Inter-Island air/sea transportation
  • Defense coordinating element
  • Use of Schofield Barracks and support facilities
  • Stand-by aerial fire suppression
  • Strategic transportation
  • U.S. Army Reserve Center – Wailuku used as FEMA Incident Support Base Federal Staging Area
  • DOD mortuary affairs support
  • Fuel distribution support
  • Potable water distribution support
  • The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has deployed six forensic anthropologists to assist in gathering and identifying human remains.
  • Secretary Austin designated Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Stephen Logan as the Dual Status Commander of Joint Task Force 5-0, under U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), on August 12.
  • JTF 5-0 was activated on August 11 and reached full operational capacity on August 16.
  • Joint service staff and liaison officers are supporting JTF 5-0.
  • Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team has been processing 15-20 exams per day focusing on the examination of newly discovered remains and secondary examination of specific remains.
  • Indo-Pacom forces remain postured to support additional mission assignments if requested.
  • JTF 5-0 continues to focus on search and recovery activities with Hawaii National Guard CBRNE CERF-P teams, FBI, anthropologists from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, and mortuary affairs technicians from PACAF and 25th Infantry Division.
  • Inter-island air/sea transportation, a defense coordinating element, is standing by for aerial fire suppression.
  • Strategic air transportation, U.S. Army Reserve Center – Wailuku is being used as FEMA incident support base federal staging area for DOD mortuary affairs support, Armed Forces Medical Examiner - System advanced forensic capabilities and potable water distribution support.
  • Since August 25, potable water teams have distributed 4,174 gallons of water in the Lahaina area.
Army Seal Army
  • Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck fuelers from the Army’s 25th Infantry Division are on-site and ready for fuel distribution operations to begin on Aug. 21. The HEMTTs will provide approximately 1,500 gallons of fuel daily in support of 18 generators operating along Maui’s west coast.
  • The U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division has postured Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) fuelers for sea-lift deployment to Maui in support of USACE generator operations. The HEMTT fuelers are each capable of delivering up to 2,500 gallons of fuel.
  • The U.S. Army’s 402nd Army Field Support Brigade has field service representatives on Oahu preparing and standing by for communications and logistics support to JTF 5-0 if needed.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently managing two operational FEMA Mission Assignments for debris removal and temporary power.
  • The Corps has 27 personnel deployed (a mix of active duty and civilians) and 14 personnel are providing virtual, reach-back support from offsite locations. 41 contractor personnel are deployed to the scene.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 249th Battalion (“Prime Power”) and Advanced Contracting Initiative (“ACI”) contractors continue to support power generation requirements and assessments. An additional 61 generators are pre-staged at Oahu.
  • U.S. Army rotary wing support includes aerial reconnaissance of the affected zone.
  • Eleven U.S. Army Reserve personnel are supporting USAR Center Wailuku operations as a FEMA Incident Support Base and a Federal Staging Area.
  • Army 25th Infantry Division’s Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) fuelers distributed ~470 gallons of fuel over the past 48 hours in support of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers temporary power operations.
  • U.S. Army Pacific is executing eight approved mission assignments from FEMA.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advanced teams are on Maui preparing to establish a long-term forward command and control center for their future debris removal mission. The county of Maui is the lead on this mission and is targeting a November 1 start date for the debris removal effort. USACE teams are also working with local officials on design plans for the establishment of a temporary school site for local children.
Marines Seal Marine
  • MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor and KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft are available for material and personnel transport. An MQ-9 remotely-piloted aircraft is available for aerial survey.
  • The 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment is available to provide manpower, engineering and water purification support as needed.
  • A U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 Hercules has been activated in support of the Mobile Diving Salvage Units.
Navy Seal Navy
  • Two Navy Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers are on the ground in Maui and Oahu, respectively, supporting interagency command and control.
  • Two MH-60R SeaHawks and three CMV-22 Ospreys are on standby for use as needed.
  • Three Mobile Diving Salvage Units from Pacific Fleet are conducting sonar scans of Lahaina Harbor in preparation for diving operations in support of the search and recovery mission.
  • Navy Mobile Diving Salvage Unit teams from Pacific Fleet concluded their dive operations on August 28.
  • The Navy and Air Force have Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers on the ground in Maui and Oahu – and 16 Navy Chaplains and 11 Navy Mental Health providers are on 24-hour recall for grief counseling and emotional support to individuals and families impacted by the disaster.
  • Pacific Fleet's Navy Environmental Preventative Medicine Unit Six will deploy 2 sailors to Maui later today in support of potable water testing for the JTF Water Distribution Mission.
Air Force Seal Air
  • An Air Force Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer is in Oahu.
  • Pacific Air Forces delivered 2 HEMTTs, 2 HIPPO water tanks, and six operators from the 25th ID to Maui in support of the JTF 5-0 Water Distribution Mission.
National Guard Bureau Seal National
  • The Hawaii National Guard has activated approximately 557 Army National Guard and Air National Guard personnel on State Active Duty.
  • Hawaii National Guardsmen continue to support local law enforcement by manning traffic control points and providing area security in Lahaina. These are 24-hour operations.
  • Two Hawaii Army National Guard CH-47 Chinooks remain on standby for support to Maui.
  • Hawaii National Guard continues 24-hour traffic control and area security support to local law enforcement.



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