The DoD Responds to Hurricane Sandy

When an event as huge as Hurricane Sandy hits, local first responders, state officials, and the federal government roll out all the stops.

By October 30, there were approximately 7,400 National Guard forces mobilized in N.Y., MA, VA, N.J., DE, CT and MD, helping out both first responders and FEMA staffers “with support at evacuation shelters, damage assessments, route clearance, debris reduction and removal, search and rescue, and delivery of essential equipment and supplies,” according to the latest release from the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Details about material assets deployed in response to the storm are hard to come by, but we do know that Pentagon planners have staged “four medium rotary wing utility aircraft and four medium rotary wing Search and Rescue aircraft” at Hanscom Air Force base in Mass.—which likely includes HH-60G Pave Hawks—in case any search and rescue operations along the New England coast become necessary.

The DoD has also made Westover Air Reserve Base, and Ft. Devens in Massachusetts; as well as Joint Base McGuire-Dix in New Jersey, available to FEMA. DoD has placed “para rescue swimmers, and aerial refueling aircraft on 24-hour prepare-to-deploy status in response to anticipated FEMA requests to mitigate or respond to the effects of the storm,” the DoD said, while engineering and logistics units are ready to support FEMA requests.

Even the Defense Logistics Agency is ready to work. The DLA has “doubled the amount of fuel it is ready to provide for emergency backup generators in anticipation of requests for assistance from FEMA and Department of Energy.”

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Paul McLeary

McLeary covers national security policies at the White House, Pentagon, the Hill, and State Department.
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