NEWS

JTF-HD Hosts Hurricane Exercise Planning Conference

By JTF-HD Public Affairs


Brian Espenshade, Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD) J-7 Training/Exercise Planner addresses the crowd at the Department of Defense Makani Pahili 2011 Concept Development and Initial-Planning Conference Dec. 16 at Sam Snead’s Tavern and Restaurant, Navy-Marine Golf Course, located near Pearl Harbor. Makani Pahili 2011 is an annual exercise designed to prepare federal, state, and civil authorities with the ability and expertise to be able to respond to a Category 4 hurricane on the Island of Oahu. (Official JTF-HD photo by Darrell Ames)
Brian Espenshade, Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD) J-7 Training/Exercise Planner addresses the crowd at the Department of Defense Makani Pahili 2011 Concept Development and Initial-Planning Conference Dec. 16 at Sam Snead’s Tavern and Restaurant, Navy-Marine Golf Course, located near Pearl Harbor. Makani Pahili 2011 is an annual exercise designed to prepare federal, state, and civil authorities with the ability and expertise to be able to respond to a Category 4 hurricane on the Island of Oahu. (Official JTF-HD photo by Darrell Ames)

HONOLULU, Hawaii – Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD) played host to the Department of Defense Makani Pahili 2011 Concept Development and Initial-Planning Conference Dec. 16 at Sam Snead’s Tavern and Restaurant, Navy-Marine Golf Course, located near Pearl Harbor. The next event, the Mid-Planning Conference, is slated for Feb. 24 at the same location.

“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 Brian Espenshade, JTF-HD J-7 Training/Exercise Planner. In addition, Makani Pahili 2011 provides an opportunity to incorporate an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) flavor to the event as many facets of the APEC operations will be incorporated into the exercise. Local, state and federal agencies also get a chance to test their plans, readiness and abilities during the annual hurricane exercise.

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).

The crowd listens intently at the Department of Defense Makani Pahili 2011 Concept Development and Initial-Planning Conference Dec. 16 at Sam Snead’s Tavern and Restaurant, Navy-Marine Golf Course, located near Pearl Harbor. Makani Pahili 2011 is an annual exercise designed to prepare federal, state, and civil authorities with the ability and expertise to be able to respond to a Category 4 hurricane on the Island of Oahu. (Official JTF-HD photo by Darrell Ames) The crowd listens intently at the Department of Defense Makani Pahili 2011 Concept Development and Initial-Planning Conference Dec. 16 at Sam Snead’s Tavern and Restaurant, Navy-Marine Golf Course, located near Pearl Harbor. Makani Pahili 2011 is an annual exercise designed to prepare federal, state, and civil authorities with the ability and expertise to be able to respond to a Category 4 hurricane on the Island of Oahu. (Official JTF-HD photo by Darrell Ames)

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.