I have just discussed this with the CAP National Commander, Maj Gen Pineda, and we would like to clarify something.
First of all, this only involves the movement of CAP personnel and assets into the devastated area of Louisiana, Mississippi, the eastern Florida panhandle, and western Alabama. This is the area that is coming under the control of NORTHCOM's Joint Task Force (JTF) - Katrina. The area being worked by JTF-Katrina is an extremely dynamic, unpredictable, and dangerous area right now, with the vast majority of the operations closely controlled by the military and coast guard. It is imperative that all movements into and out of the area be closely coordinated through the NOC, and the NOC will work the proper coordination with the AF, to include 1AF and JTF-Katrina. It is very important that the NOC also knows the status and location of all CAP assets.
As the military, and CAP's, post-Katrina command-and-control structure matures over the next few days, there will be a great need for CAP assets, personnel, and expertise to perform a wide variety of missions in support of the relief and recovery efforts. As we work towards that point, Gen Pineda and I ask for your cooperation, to ensure that no movements of CAP assets take place into or out of the area without prior involvement with the NOC.
Gen Pineda and I thank you for your cooperation and your hard work.
Col George C. Vogt
:: Folks, nobody is more frustrated than me right now about not being in this fight just yet. Some of us have trained for years to respond to just this sort of crisis.
But as tough as it is, we have to wait until the chain of command tasks us to move. As tempting as it may be to freelance, and start moving without authorization... we've seen how well meaning, but un-coordinated post incident response can really gum up the works before. (i.e. Manhattan being reduced to gridlock after 9/11.)
CAP Emergency Services Teams, Air Crews, and Mission Base Staffs are professionals. While we don't draw a paycheck, we're uniformed professionals that respect the chain of command. Leave the cowboy shit to the amateurs.
It looks to me that the National Operations Center (NOC) is working closely with NORTHCOM, and the JTF-Katrina.
Right now conditions in the affected area have deteriorated into something out of Lord of the Flies, and there's a limited amount of work that our ground forces can do until the AO is secure. New Orleans has been likened to being in a state of, "urban warfare."
I will say that I'm a little surprised about how much chatter there has been regarding employment of CAP ground forces. My expectation was that this would primarily an air mission, with only a smattering of tasking for our ground pounders. My sense now is that we'll see a lot of air / ground coordination in the coming weeks. Everyone wearing a Ground Team badge should be ready to go.
So like the man says... sit tight, catch up on your sleep, triple check your go-bag, and be ready to move when the order comes. This will be a marathon, not a sprint.
More from the NOC after the jump.
From: Mathis Randall R Lt Col CAP-USAF/XO
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 3:16 PM
Subject: Hurricane Katrina Support
All movement of CAP personnel and resources in any status, Air Force Assigned Mission Status or Corporate, into or out of the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina will be approved by the USAF through the NOC. This includes Louisiana, Mississippi, the Eastern Florida Panhandle and Western Alabama. The Federal and State command and control functions in these areas are extremely stressed and all efforts to help must be coordinated with the appropriate authorities. There is an extremely high number of rotary wing aircraft conducting life saving operations at the present time. Supplies such as fuel, billeting and communications are extremely limited. We want to make sure any assistance sent into the area can be used safely and effectively.
The effort of the NHQs staff need to be focused on the movement and support of operations as directed by 1AF and US. NORTHCOM. Nation communication resources located at the NTC need to be readied and held in place until directed otherwise by the NOC at the authority of the USAF.
All wings should know the real time status of their people, aircraft and other resources. Know the window of availability of those for those resources so they can be employed if needed.
Also, please do not initiate coordination for the move of personnel with any other agencies such as Air Force, National Guard, Air Reserve, or US Coast Guard Units or for commercial air travel without the approval of the USAF through the NOC.
The area affect by Hurricane Katrina is a very confused and complex area. Please work with and through the NOC to meet the requested support needs of the States , FEMA and US Northern Command.
NOC, LRs and SDs please insure wildest dissemination to all levels.
Thank you all for your incredible support.
Lt Col Randy Mathis