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Available State Defense Force After Action Reports from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Deployments

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Journal article

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Recurring natural disasters are presenting a serious drain on state resources normally available to mitigate them. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are just two terrible examples of recent catastrophic natural disasters. Traditionally, the state could rely on its National Guard NG and civilian first responder infrastructure. Unfortunately, international terrorism, foreign combat, and homeland security needs are impacting these resources. According to Associate Press writer Liz Sideri, 10 Sep 2005, About 41,000 Guard members are scattered across Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana...and About 30.000 Guard members are serving in Iraq, with smaller numbers in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and elsewhere overseas. These foreign deployments drastically reduced the National Guards potential effectiveness in this emergency. This will be the case as long as the Department of Defense continues to view the Reserve Forces as a component of overall military operations. In past years, most State Adjutants General considered their Title 32, USC, authorized State Defense Force SDF State Guard, State Military Reserve of little or no value in disaster mitigation or homeland security. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita demonstrated the error of this belief. Katrina and Rita ushered in a new era of natural disaster mitigation by the SDFs. Governors and Adjutants General across the nation answered the call. They agreed to permit SDF units to function in damaged areas and SDF units were deployed in very short order, often before the NG units were deployed. This article outlines the After Action Reports of the following organizations regarding their deployments in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Active Duty and Reserve Forces, National Guard Bureau, Alabama State Defense Force, California State Military Reserve, Maryland Defense Force, Tennessee State Guard, Texas State Guard, and the Virginia Defense Force.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Civil Defense
  • Unconventional Warfare

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