JTF-HD preps for Category 4 hurricane in annual exercise

| May 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

Darrell D. Ames
Joint Task Force Homeland Defense Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Joint Task Force Homeland Defense, or JTF-HD, played host to the Department of Defense’s “Makani Pahili,” Hawaiian for strong winds, conference, April 27, at Lockwood Hall, here.

The conference covered final planning and a master scenario event list synchronization for the annual exercise, slated to run from May 31-June 8.

“The purpose of Makani Pahili 2011 is to prepare (for) and respond to a Category 4 hurricane on Oahu, in an interagency-operational environment, as outlined in the Hawaii Catastrophic Hurricane Operations Plan,” said Jeffrey Hensel, training and exercise planner, JTF-HD.

In addition, Makani Pahili 2011 provides an opportunity for local, state and federal agencies to test their plans, readiness and abilities during the annual hurricane exercise.

“Makani Pahili also serves as a foundation for service components to review, update and continue to improve their plans and build their readiness capabilities,” said Mel Garcia, operations deputy, JTF-HD.

JTF-HD’s mission in Makani Pahili is to help direct military resources during a natural or man-made disaster.

The organization generally plays a pivotal role in helping Hawaii and other mid-Pacific Island communities prepare and recover from disasters, and to coordinate requests from local governments for military assistance.

Weather and disaster experts predict that a Category 4 hurricane could cause billions of dollars worth of property damage and hundreds of deaths, if it were to zero in on populous areas of Oahu. It’s predicted that the recovery from such a storm would quickly overwhelm local and state resources, thus the requirement for federal assistance. That’s when JTF-HD would likely come into play, providing the coordination for help from military assets.

In the scenario, JTF-HD will likely use military services to play pivotal roles in assessing requests for aid and matching them with military assets and resources. Its primary mission will be to execute operations to provide civil support for hazards, including responding to and recovering from natural disasters, retaining key and critical infrastructure, and protecting the force within the joint operations area.

JTF-HD is a coordinating agency between 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.

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Category: Exercises, News, Observances

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