HAST prepares for regional response mission

| November 13, 2015 | 0 Comments
Members of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team receive training on how to prepare for a pre-joint inspection, conduct blocking and bracing training and how to develop a load-plan for movement of their equipment prior to taking over the HAST mission Jan. 1. The HAST is an agile and responsive team with unique capabilities consisting of 15-20 personnel ready to deploy on short notice in support of humanitarian aid/disaster relief operations within the Pacific Command's area of responsibility.

Members of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team receive training on how to prepare for a pre-joint inspection, conduct blocking and bracing training and how to develop a load-plan for movement of their equipment prior to taking over the HAST mission Jan. 1. The HAST is an agile and responsive team with unique capabilities consisting of 15-20 personnel ready to deploy on short notice in support of humanitarian aid/disaster relief operations within the Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.

Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Nicole Howell
8th Theater Sustainment Command

FORT SHAFTER — The Asia-Pacific region’s 36 nations are home to more than half of the world’s population. More than one-third of its nations are small islands surrounded by large bodies of water and are heavily dependent on seaports and waterways for survival.

Historically, the region’s typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones, floods and mudslides directly impact millions, and they often require a rapid team effort by Pacific partners to save lives and help affected nations recover from natural disasters.

As part of that team effort, a team of U.S. Army-Pacific Soldiers from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command is training and preparing to contribute to regional humanitarian aid/disaster relief efforts across the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) area of responsibility (AOR).

“The Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team (HAST) is a rapidly

Members of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team conduct a load exercise (LOADEX) to validate the teams ability to deploy equipment and personnel for any potential humanitarian aid/disaster relief missions beginning on Jan. 1. The HAST is an agile and responsive team with unique capabilities consisting of 15-20 personnel ready to deploy on short notice in support of humanitarian aid/disaster relief operations within the Pacific Command's area of responsibility.

Members of the HAST conduct a load exercise.

deployable, tailorable package designed to give the USARPAC commander situational awareness and critical connectivity with the U.S. ambassador’s country team, the primary federal agency and the state department representative or the Department of Defense joint task force,” said Lt. Col. Sean Picciano, the officer in charge of 8th TSC HAST A. “It is important to support other nations in the Pacific because it supports the USARPAC mission of building relationships that contribute to a stable and secure PACOM area of responsibility, which is USARPACs vision.”

The intent of the HAST is to assist the U.S. Agency for International Development-Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, the U.S. government, and the host nation’s government by providing support, so lives are safeguarded, human suffering is alleviated, and the affected state/international community regains the ability to resume full control over the situation.

USARPAC has three units that are charged with providing HAST support: 8th TSC, 25th Infantry Division and I Corps. Each unit takes control of the mission for a period of 90 days and then passes it to the next unit in the rotation.

The 8th TSC HAST consists of two teams made up of no more than 15 to 20 personnel from the 8th TSC, 413th Contracting Support Brigade and the 18th Medical Command. Each individual brings a different capability to the team, such as communications, intelligence, medical, logistics planning, public affairs, aviation, ordnance, contracting, operations, protection, engineering, military police, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear assessments.

The HAST is an agile and responsive team with unique capabilities consisting of 15-20 personnel ready to deploy on short notice in support of humanitarian aid/disaster relief operations within the Pacific Command's area of responsibility.

The HAST is an agile and responsive team with unique capabilities consisting of 15-20 personnel ready to deploy on short notice in support of humanitarian aid/disaster relief operations within the Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.

“This mission provides us the ability to train on different skill sets while training on some of our core tasks, such as Soldier and equipment readiness and the ability to alert our team and deploy within 24 hours,” said Picciano. “This also makes us more agile and adaptive because, for many of us, we will get the opportunity to conduct assessments and coordinate with agencies and organizations that we do not communicate with on a normal basis. This takes us out of our comfort zone and challenges us to broaden our skill sets.”

As the teams prepare to assume the rotating on-call mission, Jan. 1, 2016, its members are completing a full-spectrum of training. They will participate in a validation exercise where their ability to alert and muster, load-out, establish HAST operations, establish communication with higher headquarters and conduct assessments are evaluated.

“This is my third HAST rotation,” said Master Sgt. Warren Cooper, 8th TSC HAST A member. “When this mission began, we trained like we were preparing for a deployment, but through continuous training, we have realized that we are a team tasked to provide the unique capabilities the military has to offer. We will go to provide our technical skill-sets with as little as possible, so we can get the country self-sufficient again without being in the way.”

While on standby, the HAST members will continue to carry out their daily mission.

The mission of the 8th TSC is posture and prepare assigned forces, execute mission command, synchronize operational and theater sustainment effects, and engage regional partners in order to contribute to a secure USPACOM AOR.

“The HAST is prepared to support any crisis situation within the USARPAC AOR, to include humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” said Picciano. “But more importantly, like any other TSC organization, we will provide premier support to any crisis when called upon.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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