Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD)
Prepares for Annual Hurricane Exercise
By JTF-HD Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii – Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD) played host to the Department of Defense Makani Pahili 2011 Final Planning Conference and Master Scenario Event List Synchronization Conference (FPC/MSEL-SC) April 27, 2011 at Lockwood Hall, Pearl Harbor. The annual exercise is slated to run from May 31 to June 8.
"The purpose of Makani Pahili 2011 is to prepare and respond to a Category 4 hurricane on the Island of Oahu in an interagency operational environment as outlined in the Hawaii Catastrophic Hurricane Operations Plan," said Jeffrey Hensel, JTF-HD J-7 Training/Exercise Planner. 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 Mr. Mel Garcia, JTF-HD, Deputy J-3.
JTF-HD’s mission in Makani Pahili is to help direct the military resources during a natural or man-made disaster. The organization, located at Fort Shafter, generally plays a pivotal role in helping Hawaii and other mid-Pacific island communities prepare and recover from disasters by coordinating 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 (Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines).
JTF-HD utilizes the Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard to play pivotal roles in assessing the requests for aid and matching them with military assets and resources. Their primary mission is to execute operations to provide Civil Support (CS) or Foreign Humanitarian Assistance (FHA) for all hazards including responding to and recovering from natural or man-made disasters and defeats threats in the land domain in order to retain key/critical infrastructure and protect the force within the Joint Operations Area (JOA).
JTF-HD, with its Defense Coordinating Element, is based at Fort Shafter, Hawaii and is designated as the Homeland Defense coordinating agency between the Department of Defense and the civilian authorities in Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands as well as three foreign governments in the Pacific to include the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. Working closely with Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, and military organizations in the Pacific, JTF-HD maintains situational awareness, helps coordinate implementation of a comprehensive Critical Infrastructure Protection Program in these areas, and when required, coordinates and provides DOD resources to help save lives and prevent great property damage.
As an asset to U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC), Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD) is just one example of how the Army does it all. As the Army Service Component Command to U.S. Pacific Command, USARPAC provides forces, commands assigned forces, and enables full spectrum operations to deter aggression, advance regional security/cooperation, respond to crisis, and fight to win. On order, USARPAC provides command and control for small scale contingency operations or serves as Combined or Joint Headquarters to support Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief and peacekeeping operations.