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tv   National Guard Briefs on Tropical Storm Harvey Response  CSPAN  August 29, 2017 11:30am-12:01pm EDT

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and let those people do their work. host: i want to draw on your past work as deputy secretary at dhss. tom price declared a public health emergency in the wake of harvey. what does that mean? guest: there's a group that doesn't get enough credit. it is the public health service. these are dedicated professionals. they usually have some kind of advanced degree in the medical field. they work at hhs. they worked live to theo pentagon for a briefing on the national guard's relief efforts along the gulf coast in the aftermath of hurricane harvey. >> good morning. i'm curly the director of domestic operations of the national guard bureau. and that responsibility, i'm responsible
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for essentially coordinating response and recovery told the mystic events the national guard is responding to. of the soldiers, i would like to give you a brief update on the national guard's response to hurricane harvey. our sympathy goes out to the citizens of texas and louisiana potentially. this hurricane and record aooding occurring has been great strain on families in citizense individual and our first responders. our thoughts and prayers have to be with the victims of this incident in the state of texas. we are proud of the texas guardsman who have responded. the soldiers and airmen have ton working around the clock alleviate the pain and suffering that have been experienced by the citizens in houston and southwest texas. i would like to emphasize upfront as we talk about
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national guard response come the training and equipment the national guard receives to fight the nation's wars also make it possible, as we rapidly respond to states needs domestically, so that federal training becomes extremely important to our ability to rapidly respond in some of the capabilities that we bring in support of civil authorities, that training we received in the federal flood allows us to apply those unique skill sets and capabilities, especially as you look at ground rescue. it is important we recognize that the dual purpose, not only to fight the nation's wars federally, but respond on behalf of our governors domestically in the homeland. the priorities have remained a last 24 the same in the hours. lifesaving sustainment, specifically search and rescue remain at the top of the list.
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property protection. we support not only security, but the president's missions around texas and specifically houston in support of local and state law enforcement. as we continue down, the guardsman support shelter starting towards the recovery phase once we start to get out of the response phase. their curly 3000 texas guardsman on duty today. they will be going to proximally will go to it proximally 4000 in the next 24 hours. specifically in the heavily flooded areas, big metropolitan area around houston is where we think most of that assistance will be required. secretary mattis approved the pat status that is hamilton. he is in place in the dual status commander, but the national guard in the state of texas and knee title x or
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federal response forces that will be coming on. texas has already used over 500 vehicles, including 200 high profile vehicles that are able to go into and three feet of water. more than 200 are ready. we can posture additional high profile vehicles from surrounding states to come in at the request upon need. currently 30 national guard supporting that only airborne search and rescue efforts, but also supporting where required. 24 more than requested by the state of texas through the emergency assistance will be en route today and we could go up to 100 helicopters as required by the state of texas as we continue to respond to the flooding around the houston area. that is both air national guard
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and army national guard, rotary wing assets. in terms of rescues -- i want to be careful when i talk numbers. these are very fluid. there is a great deal of rescues occurring around by the minute. but those that the national guard is directly involved includes over 3500 personnel rescue. most of those you see have been by some type of boat but also include almost 300 hoist rescues. they are technically difficult in terms of hoisting people up where they are unacceptable by any other method. almost 300 animal rescues have occurred. not only the humans associated, but the pets as we continue to alleviate the pain and suffering that the citizens of texas are experiencing right now. i don't want to leave louisiana out of the equation. as the storm moves across
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thegulf of potentially being made what is called a third landfall, louisiana, currently 400 in louisiana. there are anticipating large flooding across the southwest portion of louisiana and preparing. the governor has not requested a dual status commander, but the louisiana national guard has if itfied a dual standard looks like it will be required. we anticipate louisiana will also request dual status commander as texas has already done. like to the size before we go to questions, this will be a long-term effort. usually when the guard response to hurricane type events, normally we talk about the first and then we are recovery effort. due to the nature of this storm
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as it has dumped record levels of rainfall across southwest texas, our response to this hurricane has been very different than we have looked at before. the planning associated with it had to be different because of the nature of it. as you look at historic levels of rain, 40 to 50 inches localized in certain areas, and then sustain flooding over a period on multiple days or potentially weeks, as you talk response and recovery, our response is very sustained. become isolated and then they are in the of food, water, medical supplies or lift by boat or rotary wing back out of the area. hasplanning for this one been different. normally, we plan response for hours,st 72 hours, 96 the weather passes and we move into recovery mode. we will be doing lifesaving and life-sustaining efforts for much
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longer period due to the nature of this storm. associated command and control structures as the department of defense looks at ramping up capability because the demand signal is not right there immediate and then draws off during the recovery phase, this will be a sustained demand signal for dod forces over time so not only the national guard, but the title x forces under the dual status commander, this will be a unity of effort over sustain period by the entire department of defense in support of civil authorities to ensure we continue to do all of those life-sustaining pieces again for periods of days if not weeks before we're into the recovery mode. the planning associated with that, we have sent a large team down to assist taxes in terms -- texas in terms of the national ability so texas is aware of postured onense has all sides and the additional
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capabilities that come from surrounding states on the national guard side to be able to add to that. just to give you a round figure of numbers, we're looking at posturing just on the national guard side, in additional 20,000 to 30,000 additional soldiers and airmen that if requested could be brought in and those capabilities include engineering, high profile vehicles, additional rotary wing assets. but those will be to finish the response phase and start into the recovery phase. just like our first responders get tired and burned out, guardsman will also get tired and burned out as we do this. this has to be a phased approach and texas is planning for that approach not only with her organic national guard forces, but national guard forces that could be brought in from surrounding states through emergency compacts. i would like to end the size -- emphasize our response has been different than anything we have experienced before.
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we expected to be much longer in terms of the response phase than what we would normally see during a hurricane just do to the nature of the storm dumping historic record amounts of rainfall in southeast texas and southwest louisiana. with that, i will deposit for questions. -- i will pause for questions. >> a question about the chain of command. you mentioned general hamilton. he reports to the governor? you mentioned he would have command of federal forces, that is the right term come in n to the national guard. are there are ready forces participating? >> there are. i will start with the last and go forward into the dual status commander brief explanation. united states northern command has postured well over 1000 active personnel in support of it and their associated
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equipment. honestly, northern command as its first of the state of texas could employ as required. search-and-rescue. i'm sorry. northern command is focused primarily on airborne search and rescue. due to the nature of the storm because the weather restricted helicopter, not only boats, but high profile vehicles are used. that is where the northern command is in terms of it. let me talk about the dual status -- >> are they involved? >> some are pre-positioned, but our federal forces involved in the response no command, theus dual status commander has responsibility to report through two channels. they provide the unity of command and u to the of effort for the response and recovery
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for all dod forces in support of civil authorities. he then -- he or she then has the responsibility to report on the federal side or title x side to u.s. northern command and on the national guard side, to the governor or the budget general, and this case, texas. there's a single dual status command per state is look others want to accord it the command in control of all dod forces support of civ authorities. the dual status commander also has what we call a title x deputy. the commander has an active duty soldier or airman that works directly for him or her that is also responsible primarily for the reporting on the federal side or the title x side of the house. yes, ma'am. >> could you go back over some of this? commandthis dual status that avid and the secretary agree to, does this down solve
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the issue of do you have all the request from the governor for federal title x military assistance that you need -- i understand it goes through fema and then farmed out to whoever. but do you still need something from governor abbott in order to do more title x assistance? or do you have everything -- when did governor abbott say, "i want title x help"? make this as to simple as i possibly can. there's a joint field office combined with the federal coordinating officer who is the lead federal entity from the state court dating officer who represents the state of texas, in the me the fence cord knitting officer. that trio essentially is the demand signal. fromemand usually comes the state side. the state court dating officer
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will look at shortfalls amongst the civilian capability to be able to respond to a disaster. once those shortfalls are identified, they normally look to dod for the response. usually inside the state, they look at their organic national guard first. once shortfalls further identified, the request for assistance thing comes into the defense cord knitting officer into the joint staff here in the pentagon for sourcing of not only active forces, but potentially army reserve or air force reserve forces. the entire weight of dod -- secretary mattis i think has been very clear that if it is required from the department of dense, it will be provided. the shorter answer to your question is, it depends on the governor and the state to ask for the assistance. so not only for national guard forces, but for title x or federal forces have to be identified, but normally there is some type of analysis done for where the civilian
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authorities no longer have the capacity for the responsand recovery. >> right. i appreciate that. let's cut to the chase here. are you getting timely request from governor abbott? are you getting everything you need from the state in order to have a rapid, active-duty federal military response? is this going fast enough? you see people in the water now for days. >> absolutely. in many cases, -- >> is the governor giving you what you need? >> the governor asked for assistance. everything we believe, the analysis we have done, everything the governor has done in terms of asking for assistance, especially as you look at the weather impacts, when you look at search-and-rescue, we had our time putting up rotary wing assets in terms of the search-and-rescue. so whether a phased approach and then literally cilian authorities recognizing the
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magnitude of the event in taxes and then asking for the assistance -- >> has a been recognized fast enough? >> that is debatable. i would say many cases,t has been. but any time you look at a historic record flooding that is occurring here, normally, the planng we do at state level in concert with the state would not have accounted for this magnitude. if you're looking at any event that only occurs every few hundred years, the planning that would have normally occurred for that probably was not here. in many cases, the request for assistance come and not only for the national guard but federal forces, may t have been anticipated quick enough. we are providing everything we can as quickly as the state asks for it, including precautionary ke i talked about. posturing, like i talked
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about. they stop the duration of the response and recovery, generally -- the journal's own authority is posturing up to 20,000 to 30,000 additional soldiers and airmen that could be used if texas asks for them. >> you said 20000 and 30,000 guard reserve forces. quite i'm specifically referencing national guard. if there are shortfalls, they could be -- quite i wanted to ask that. yes identified he might need 20000 and 30,000 national guard forces over time for response and recovery. what have you identified in terms of active duty u.s. military involvement? what do you think the top number may be on active duty involvement? >> u.s. northern command is looking at -- without going into details, their categories -- they put all of the forces that
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are readily available for the response and recovery and are prepared to deploy order. all of the category 2 and 3 forces in the planning effort have been put on a prepared to deploy orders so they are ready to go. when texas asks for them, they would be included in the overall department of defense response -- >> [indiscernible] >> i don't know that number off the top of my head. i know they are postured to go to 2000 er the next 24 to 48 hours, and that just personnel. they would obviously have associated equipment without. >> thank you. >> can you break down where the funding for all of this is coming from? do you have any estimates on how legit has caused so far? >> i don't have an estimate on the cost so far. most of the response, national guard response to date, has been in a state active duty status. costng the state bears the of the national guardsmen being called in to state active duty
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post up so right now it is essentially a state bill. with the presidential declaration and the stafford act with that, there will be a fema reimbursement to the state, the employment -- for the deployment of the national guard dustup normally, fema will reimburse at a minimum of 7 75%. >> no sensyet on how much it has caused them how much it is going to cost? >> no. we can do a rough accounting in terms of personnel. when you're talking pay an allowance, we can run those number's relatively quickly. i don't have a rollup of that. these of the claimant is also reimbursed. there's a reimbursement factor that goes with it as well. >> there have been reports about how crowded the airspace has become given all of the sech and rescue aircraft currently there and many more that may come. can you talk about the effort underway to prevent that --
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absolutely. there has been airspace control order, especially as the weather clears over the next 24 to 48 hours, potenal for rotary wing rescue or some type of informational awareness type platform, fixed wing platforms as sensors on them trying to do assessment of the damage or any other recovery efforts that need to take place. there issually inner space control order that we work through -- airspace control orr that we work to initially. but also the air force northern, headquartered at kendall air force base, especially in terms of the rescue coordination center and how we actually deacon flicked the airspace -- the conflict the airspa. we do not want -- we e to help the citizens of texas and potentially louisiana. we have to be up to break up the airspace so we're not actually,
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whether it is deconflicte by geographyd or altitude, there's needs to be something in place. it will become more important as more helicopter assets coming to the joint operating area over the next couple of days. >> what about these of private drones, personally owned drones? >> on the behalf of dod, privat drones, as were using military assets to respond and recovery as an asset, theotential for drone impact is a big deal. as much as possible, if we could keep civilian drones out of the crowded skies that e already crowded with the response and recovery efforts, that would be helpful. those present a hazard for our crews operating helicopters in the region. >> can you give us an idea of the scope of the area you're
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having to do search-and-rescue and how many homes you estimate still have residents that might need your assistance? >> i don't have an terms of square miles -- i don't have those numbers. i am sure texas is looking at that, including the number of households. obviously, it is easy to look at the houston metropolitan area and talk about the 6 million people or so in that area. but there are many other areas impacted by the wind as the shore originally came ashore with the gray jell-o devastation, then flooding across southeast texas. and in flooding and south louisiana the next 48 hours. it is hundreds of thousands of homes. ofust can't t a magnitude the square mileage of that. >> can you give your name? >> "military times." to go back to the currently 1000 mission, doing the sar
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what other title x forces are on prepared to deploy status? of the ones in this first wave, how many total do you think are active and participating now? >> i do know northern command ha, through army north in san antonio, over 1000 personnel. that is all i have awareness of right now. i am just trying to help the national guard do eir response side of it. under the dual status commander, there needs to be unity of effort and command so everything u.s. northern command has postured for this response will be given to the bill status commander for them to clude in the overall effort. i hope that comes close to answering the question. i just don't have visibility on the total numbers of personnel and equipment tt have either ready been employed or are postured to be employed. obviously, the active component
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has a great deal of capacity at fort would. there are other dod installations there. even our reserve partners have capabilities that could be used andresponse if the governor general needed or the dual status comnder. >> how does the active guard status now compared to the response to katrina? >> at the height of katrina, proximally 50,000 guardsmen and a little over 20,000 active component forces. i anticipate -- you hate to be predictive because this will depend on the magnitude of the storm. there will probably be a similar ratio. to make an assumption there will not be title x forces is an incorrect assumption. entire department of defense, including non-federalized national guard and active forces required doubt the citizens of south texas and southwest louisiana.
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>> yesterday, the governor announced was going to call up the entire texas national guard. you were saying in calling up, what, 4000 -- >> 4000 in the next 24 ur governor abbott, as you look at available -- by the way, the texas national guard is about 19,000 soldiers and airmen. governor abbott specifically wanted to ensure, always the, the department of defense is engaged around the globe in terms of current operations. that includes the texas national guard. those forces that are federally deployed or have just returned from employment or getting ready to deploy our unavailable but forntially the governor sponse. those already deployed. if you look at those numbers, what governor abbott had available was approximately 12,000. the is the full weight that
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general in texas has been authorized by the governor to bring on due to the nature of the storm, especially as they phase in capability, that uld build up to that 10,000 or 12,000 across the next few days. forces already in the fight may need to be replaced so i can't say there will be sunday out there sunday or monday next week texashere will be 10,000 guardsmen. some might already be replaced as they head into the recery. does that help with the numbers? >> there's a lot of capability, buildingle, for companies in the army reserve. can you call on those assets? basically, would be, the state of texas would look at shortfalls. they put a request for assistance in, which would come into the joint staff in the pentagon. .t would be validated so as the request came in, as the department ofdefense
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sources capability to be able to respond, it could be army reserve or air force reserve or active forces. the joint -- in fact, sometimes it is a misnomer. you can put guardsmen on title x in terms of domestic response. the department of defense or the joint staff also has the choice to pick guard units to put on title x to answer the request for assistance. normally, since the texas guard is the one responding in this case, normally, the department of defense is not going to pick a texas guard unit because they know they are being used in a non-federalized capacity. i hope that comes close to answering it. 30,000 that may come from othertates, what other states are you talking about? >> normally, those are surrounding states. some has are ready come from as far as new york and california. trained airlly have national guard rescue units with guardian angel. it is really a weapon system. when you combine them with the
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pair rcue personnel and the airplanes, it is a specific capability we knew we would need in this case due to the technical nature of the rescues. york,only resident in new california, and alaska. we use these seven teams to move thosehh60's into the operating areas because it is a capability that texas would specifically need because those para rcue men, we have the ability to provide additional life-saving or stabilization of patients as we do the movement -- which is a unique ability that resides in the department of defense. most do not have that type of capability. >> could i get clarification on the 300 helicopter rescues? are those all people? right after that you said 300 animals. >> normally, we would only hoist people.
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i don't want to exclude the ability to be able to to waste pets them above my understanding at this point, those were all personnel hoist. the numbers are changing by the minute. and that is just the national guard. our partners at the coast guard, other dod entities -- so i'm only able to report the national guard piece. when you look at helicopter, rotary wing rescues, the number is much larger -- ok. >> from fox news. has there been any request for naval aspects, comfort or mercy? >> we understand the cure size quotebe en route -- don't me. naval assets are being looked at postured. it would take days for some of those naval assets to be able to
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get there. i'm not an expert on naval assets. the department of defense i think specifically is lookingt posturing naval capability that could be used to >> what is the plan as we see these levees and dams start to break down and water overflowing? what is the plan to do with that as these lakes and rivers overflow? we believe this briefings to go live now to the u.s. house of representatives for a pro forma session. t speaknt e clthpeaker's rooms washiton, d.c. au9,0. hereby appoin the honorable prempoth dct speak si, paul rya speaker of e of prentes. thepe p mpore: t guest chaheeren alilasat wof e cap united methi uhwashingt, d.c.

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