Science and Technology News

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

JACCE deploys to JB MDL to liaise AF assets for hurricane-relief effort

by Staff Sgt. David Carbajal
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

11/9/2012 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Air Forces Northern deployed an element here Nov. 2 to the heart of military hurricane-support efforts in New York and New Jersey.

Joint Air Component Command Element provides a liaison billet to coordinate with the Joint Force Land Component Command for employment of supplemental Air Force personnel and assets when state and National Guard resources are stretched.

"We are here because this is where the big federal coordinating effort is located," said Col. Nap Bryan, the one-person JACCE.

The JACCE's expertise can include plans, operations, imagery, airspace management, logistics, space, air mobility and aeromedical evacuation, as needed, according to the Air Forces Northern Defense Support to Civil Authorities Air Support Handbook.

"When we show up at functions like this, we're embedded with our joint brothers and sisters of our military. They tend to think we're just about airplanes," said Bryan, a Jackson, Miss., native. "But we can assist in other areas."

The JACCE is posed to coordinate other Air Force capabilities such as incident awareness and assessment, search and rescue and airspace management.

"These are our core competencies in most situations but especially when responding to events like Hurricane Sandy," said Bryan, deployed from 286th Air Operations Group at Meridian, Miss.

Another function JACCE offers is a platform for information distribution.

"We gather information and redistribute it to the necessary organizations," said Bryan. "We're connecting dots from various units to ensure resources get to where they need to go."

One example of this was the coordination for 48 civil engineers from five different bases to aid Task Force Pump, which pumped flood waters affecting New York coastal communities following Hurricane Sandy.

"I don't think I've ever seen unwatering pumps deployed into the field, but this was a flood," said Bryan, "and the Air Force has some resources that could help move flood water from buildings."

Bryan also assisted coordination for a flight of specialized electricians to be diverted from John F. Kennedy International Airport to McGuire.

"We were able to do this because the FEMA representative was an (Air Mobility Command) guy, who coordinated the aircraft to divert," said Bryan.

This allowed Bryan and his counterparts to save the electricians time and mileage by arriving closer to their destination, said Bryan.

"In a land-centric operation, having an Air Force rep who can use their 'reach-back' method can be beneficial," said Bryan. "Each one of our services is very centric to their service and sometimes we forget what other people bring to the fight."

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