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AFNORTH provides crisis counsel | Chicago Composite Squadron

AFNORTH provides crisis counsel

Photos AFNORTH provides crisis counsel

Mr. Rodney Simmons, AFNORTH National Security Emergency Preparedness Directorate, greets Brig. Gen. Donald Johnson, Tennessee National Guard assistant Adjutan General, prior to a series of meeting to gain a better understanding Title 10 resources that could be available if needed in a catastrophic-type event.

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AFNORTH provides crisis counsel

Posted 8/23/2013   Updated 8/23/2013
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by Mary McHale
AFNORTH Public Affairs

8/23/2013 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE VASE, Fla. – To help enhance their defense support to civil authorities emergency plans, members from the Joint Forces Headquarters in Tennessee visited Air Forces Northern August 12-15.

With a focus on disaster air operations planning, they received a series of briefings, toured the 601st Air and Space Operations Center, and met one on-one with AFNORTH subject matter experts from a variety of DSCA-related specialties. These included search and rescue, incident awareness and assessment, and incident command and control.

According to Brig. Gen. Donald Johnson, assistant Adjutant General, Air, Tennessee National Guard, the primary goal was to take away a better understanding of Title 10 resources that could be brought to bear in a catastrophic-type event. In this case, the scenario reflected if something were to occur within the New Madrid Seismic Zone along the Mississippi River. They were concentrating on if an earthquake struck in the area and significantly devastated the infrastructure of a major population hub such as Memphis.

“We were all seeking to promote a better understanding of the roles, policies, processes and procedures between the Tennessee National Guard and AFNORTH,” said Col. Richard Hughey, Tennessee Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer. “We are excited to have this opportunity to discuss and collaborate with our Tennessee National Guard partners in planning and preparing to support our overall DSCA mission and protection of our homeland during a catastrophic event like the NMSZ.”

To that end, the group was a varied one to include planners from the Tennessee Joint Force Headquarters operations staff and also persons from the joint planning functions there.

“In Tennessee, we consider ourselves very joint,” Johnson said. “That’s why we brought the Army with us. We want to ensure we’re all in sync when it comes time to respond to a catastrophic crisis with the right resources, at the right place, at the right time.”

In fact, Johnson said that was one of the biggest take-aways for him – improving the situational awareness and coordination piece during such operations.

“Now we have lots of points of contact and their information and that’s a tremendous help,” Johnson said.

Armed with the information the group gleaned here, Johnson said they are going to return to Tennessee and tweak their Tennessee Emergency Response Plan.

“We’ve already done a lot of planning in Tennessee and I think we’re on track to ensure our plan is actionable and implementable,” Johnson said. “We want to make sure we have really positive results and effects when it comes to saving lives in Tennessee.

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