JTF-HD prepares for annual joint Lightning Rescue 2011

| January 27, 2011 | 0 Comments
The crowd listens during the JTF-HD Lightning Rescue 2011 Initial-Planning Conference, Jan. 18, at Sam Snead’s Tavern and Restaurant, Navy-Marine Golf Course. Lightning Rescue 2011 is an annual exercise designed to prepare federal, state and civil authorities with the ability and expertise to respond to a threat of infectious disease and/or a biographical threat.

The crowd listens during the JTF-HD Lightning Rescue 2011 Initial-Planning Conference, Jan. 18, at Sam Snead’s Tavern and Restaurant, Navy-Marine Golf Course. Lightning Rescue 2011 is an annual exercise designed to prepare federal, state and civil authorities with the ability and expertise to respond to a threat of infectious disease and/or a biographical threat.

Story and Photo by
Darrell D. Ames
Joint Task Force-Homeland Defense Public Affairs

 

FORT SHAFTER — The focus of Lightning Rescue 2011, Joint Task Force-Homeland Defense’s annual joint-interagency disaster preparedness and response exercise, is responding to the threat of infectious disease and/or a biographical threat.

The exercise, slated for later this year, will include joint-interagency table top and command post exercises.

“We want to concentrate our efforts on the joint-interagency response to a possible threat,” said Robyn Romero, contract support team exercise planner, JTF-HD. “The exercise will provide a forum for Department of Defense, federal, state, city and county, and private sector organizations’ participants to discuss potential scenarios for the exercise.”

The exercise will also provide all parties the opportunity to improve their own biological threat response planning, to synchronize response efforts under the National Incident Management System and National Response Framework, and to exercise coordinated efforts in responding to a wide range of disasters in Hawaii and across the Pacific.

“The possibility of an infectious threat and/or biological disaster is a very real threat,” said Brian Espenshade, training/exercise planner, JTF-HD. “Exercising cooperation and coordination between DoD and our interagency partners to conduct Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations is essential for our nation.”

Exercises are designed to test concepts, identify and discuss issues, explore trends, examine processes, educate, train and develop relationships.

Romero, speaking at a recent Lightning Rescue 2011 Initial Planning Conference, said this year’s event “will also be a good opportunity to confirm roles and responsibilities within the response community and to define DoD support roles and functions.”

The exercise is a joint effort of more than 20 organizations, including DoD installations and organizations, interagency partners from civilian governments at all levels, private companies and nongovernment organizations. The event showcases the capabilities of all these organizations, while providing the opportunity to train in medical response, disaster planning and interagency communications.

“Preparing now can help mitigate the severity of a disaster and can save lives,” said Mel Garcia, operations deputy, JTF-HD. “The opportunity to exercise with our interagency partners is critical in understanding where and how the military fits in the process of disaster response.”

JTF-HD, with its Defense Coordinating Element, is based, here, and is designated as the Homeland Defense coordinating agency between the DoD and civilian authorities in Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

Working closely with Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and military organizations in the Pacific, JTF-HD maintains situational awareness, helps coordinate implementation of a comprehensive Critical Infrastructure Protection Program across the Joint Operations Area and, when required, coordinates and provides DoD resources to help save lives and prevent great property damage.

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Category: Exercises, News

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