MESSAGE FROM COM SECOND FLEET ON NAVY EFFORTS NI REGARDS TO KATRINA TO DATE.That's Tuesday the 30th. Not bad time, only a day and a half after landfall.
Sent: Fri Sep 02 17:52:45 2005
Subject: Katrina Update
CNO, Admiral, as we enter day 4 from activation, wanted to provide you my perspective on our efforts to date in response to Katrina. Our sailors are very motivated for the relief effort and performance has been superb across the board. Joe Kilkenny and Reubin Bookert are in place are doing very well. As we build up Joe’s JFMCC staff in P’cola, C2F and CFFC have been handling RFF issues and NAVFOR duties, and assisting JFMCC with long range planning. We are in sync with USCG CAA and Region 8, USMC FMF and II MEF, FORCECOM Aviation, First AF, and Navy commands. The challenges have been with the JTF staff and FEMA, as communications with these commands have been difficult. All of us, but particularly Joe and Reubin are actively working to solve this in the JOA.
MOBILITY and LOGISTICS
* BATAAN was put on alert Sunday upon exiting a Galveston port call, and steamed south to Corpus to pick up 3 H-53’s. She followed behind the storm to the NOLA area and once FEMA requested DOD participation on Tuesday at 3pm, flight ops commenced in support of USCG Region 8.
The Bataan has choppers, a floating hospital, and water generation. Early reports said that the Bataan wasn't given orders until much later.
Clearly, the communication errors weren't just internal to the Joint Task Force and FEMA, but with the public.
Why FEMA didn't make that request earlier, I don't fully understand. I hate to think that it didn't occur to someone, but those choppers would have come in handy from the moment the weather cleared enough to fly them safely.
The TImes reports that:
According to the administration's senior domestic security officials, the [the national disaster response plans created after the Sept. 11 attacks] failed to recognize that local police, fire and medical personnel might be incapacitated.Oops!
Communications errors also prevented the rapid deployment of active duty troops:
"I need everything you have got," [Louisiana Gov.] Blanco said she told Mr. Bush last Monday, after the storm hit.Oy. These walls are there for a reason, to protect civil liberties, but to play semantic games is just retarded.
In an interview, she acknowledged that she did not specify what sorts of soldiers. "Nobody told me that I had to request [active duty troops]," Ms. Blanco said. "I thought that I had requested everything they had. We were living in a war zone by then."
By Wednesday, she had asked for 40,000 soldiers.