With hurricane season fast approaching Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) conducted an emergency readiness and response exercise during the last two weeks.
The Navy-wide exercise called “Hurricane Exercise 2014 (HURREX-14)” tested the preparation, response, flexibility, resiliency and recovery of naval installations, including JBAB.
The Defense Department’s northern command (NORTHCOM) provided an Emergency Preparedness Liasion Officer (ELPO) Air Force Col. Rolandrias Bradford to the the national capital region.
During the second week of the exercise, Air Force Col. Rolandrias Bradford provided an overview of NORTHCOM’s role, capabilities and expectations during a real emergency or natural disaster.
His presentation focused on the availability of resources at JBAB and its ability to accommodate special requests made by high command to provide or stage equipment or supplies on the installation.
Leaders should adequately communicate their capabilities upward to ensure the installation’s optimal readiness during an emergency situation such as hurricane or other natural disaster, Bradford stressed.
Senior officials at NORTHCOM wanting to assemble their emergency response strategies throughout the region will look to military installations like JBAB for solutions.
“So when we talk about mission assignments and where to put stuff here at JBAB, it is going to come from NORTHCOM saying ‘yes, we can do that’,” he said.
“But it has to start with you guys telling them, ‘yes, we can accommodate or not we cannot’,” he added.
A special request from higher command, for example, could call for more active duty and reserve military personnel or federal emergency personnel to be placed in specific area.
JBAB, because of its “heart of the district” location, could be used to house emergency response assets and materials needed by federal authorities to distribute throughout the greater region in the event of a natural disaster.
“We at the local level are here trying to make contact with the bases and make sure you understand that you are also recovering, but we also might use you to be a staging ground for DoD access or FEMA access,” he said.
HURREX-14 is set to measure the response time, coordination and activity of its installations faced with a major storm traveling along up the east coast. The intent is to test installations operational forces and readiness within its area of responsibility.