Joint Task Force Katrina

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Joint Task Force Katrina (JTF-Katrina) commanded by Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, commander of the 1st Army at Ft. Gillem, Georgia, was established by U.S. Northern Command on Sunday, August 28, 2005, "with a forward cell of the 5th United States Army in Louisiana." The JTF headquarters was established at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, on August 31st, as the Department of Defense's "focal point to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency's relief efforts along the Gulf Coast. Lt. Gen. Honoré is "to coordinate DoD active-duty support for disaster relief efforts in the hurricane's aftermath." [1][2]

Mission

Lt. Gen. Honoré said September 1, 2005, that "we've continued to flow naval air and Army helicopter support and other assets, as requested by the governor, through FEMA. And that is the process, and you know that works. The governor identified a requirement. It goes to FEMA. That requirement is sent to Northern Command, my boss, Admiral [Timothy J.] Keating, as parallel to" Lt. Gen. Dan McNeill, commander of Forces Command (FORSCOM) at Ft. McPherson, Georgia. [3]

Lt. Gen. Honoré said "we are in support of the National Guard. They work the security mission as described by law in the Constitution under their governor, and we are currently providing support to them in enabling capabilities in air, capability in search and rescue, surface and air, as well as seaborne capability. We have two LCACs (landing craft air cushioned), naval assault vehicles, coming in. We'll put those in the littorals around New Orleans to help re-supply and to move people within the next 12 hours.

"So we are providing a capability to assist them in the lifesaving as well as the sustainment operation of moving supplies and providing medical assistance. We have two Air Force hospitals, one in Louisiana and one in Mississippi, that are established, and those are working for the states in support of those two efforts. But that's a total effort."

Related U.S. Northern Operations

"NORTHCOM also established federal operational staging areas at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss.; Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; Alexandria, La.; and Fort Polk, La., to expedite the movement of relief supplies and emergency personnel to affected areas, officials reported.

"In addition, NORTHCOM liaisons are operating in Clanton, Ala.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Jackson, Miss., to coordinate efforts between the command, other DoD elements and FEMA.

"Standing Joint Forces Headquarters North will provide an augmentation cell and its command-and-control vehicle to Joint Task Force Katrina, and JTF Civil Support will provide a joint planning augmentation cell, officials said" August 31, 2005.

Related SourceWatch Resources: Hurricane Katrina: List of related pages

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