DoD Adapting Katrina Support
The 70,000-member military force helping with Hurricane Katrina relief is adapting to constantly changing requirements, according to a Defense Department report.
DoD Adapting Katrina Support to Meet Changing Requirements (American Forces Press Service – DefenseLINK)
The Defense Department is tailoring its 70,000-member force supporting hurricane relief operations as needed to provide the critical capabilities required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies, defense officials said today. The current military support force – 22,000 active-duty troops and more than 46,000 National Guardsmen – continue to provide critical security, logistical and other support, officials said.
However, Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, has directed that no federal military troops be used to perform or assist with any type of forced evacuation, officials said. Troops from the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Cavalry Division and 1st and 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force continue to conduct humanitarian assistance, search and rescue, evacuation and security assessments. They will also mark and record locations of deceased people for mortuary teams, but will not recover the bodies, officials said.
Honore has emerged as a shining figure in all the chaos that has surrounded this effort. His is doing an excellent job of balancing the need to react quickly to an emergency with the professional military ethic of staying out of civil functions. With over-their-head governors ordering that looters be shot on sights and over-their-head mayors ordering that citizens be forcibly removed from their homes well after the storm has passed, it’s quite fortunate that there is adult supervision available.