Thursday, October 25, 2007

NORTHCOM steps in to assist in California
NORTHCOM Commander Outlines California Wildfire Response
Victor R. Renuart Jr. briefed reporters at NORTHCOM's headquarters here on the command's wildfire support efforts in the San Diego area. ...

U.S. Northern Command, with headquarters in Colorado Springs, is stepping up to help the fire fighting effort in Southern California. They're using department of defense assets to bring relief to the area--everything from meals, to firefighting aircraft from around the country, and even personnel from here in Colorado.
"As you know, over a quarter million people have had to evacuate their homes," Gen. Gene Renuart, NORTHCOM commander, said the media today.
At U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, it's a major disaster that's calling for major action.
"We'll continue working this 24 hours a day 7 days a week until the fire is completed," said Renuart. Renuart announced NORTHCOM's plan of action Tuesday. It ranges from fire trucks and helicopters deployed from the Navy, military bases set up staging points, and numerous personnel--nearly 75 of which will come from Colorado.
Then there are humanitarian efforts. "We've got cots and tents and provided additional meals in coordination with FEMA and the American Red Cross as they have set up these shelters," said Renuart. They'll also make room for evacuees on a naval base in San Diego. But the support may not end there, as heavy winds and warm temperatures continue to fuel the blaze plaguing Southern California. "We think we're in a good position to assist, to help but mother nature has a vote," said Renuart.
As mother nature's inferno rages on, Gen. Renuart says with numerous agencies involved in the fire fighting effort, it brings back memories of Katrina.
"We learned a lot out of Katrina on how to prepare for a disaster like that by exercising and training and building a real planning culture between all those inter-agency participants," said Renuart.


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