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AFNSEP Mission Moving to Tyndall

SEBRING AIRPORT, Fla. -- Senior Airman Amanda Sugg sets up cots here that were used in a C-130 to transport more than a dozen elderly Hurricane Rita evacuees back to Key West, Fla. Airman Sugg is an aeromedical technician attached to the North Carolina Air National Guard's 156th Aeromedical Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen)

SEBRING AIRPORT, Fla. -- Senior Airman Amanda Sugg sets up cots here that were used in a C-130 to transport more than a dozen elderly Hurricane Rita evacuees back to Key West, Fla. Airman Sugg is an aeromedical technician attached to the North Carolina Air National Guard's 156th Aeromedical Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Brian E. Christiansen)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Air Forces Northern National Security Emergency Preparedness Directorate (AFNSEP) is moving its operations from Fort McPherson Georgia to Air Forces Northern Headquarters here Jan 1.

AFNSEP changed its name from the Air Force National Security Emergency Preparedness Agency when it was deactivated as an Air Staff Field Operating Agency to Air Forces Northern National Security Emergency Preparedness Directorate, when it re-aligned under AFNORTH, Oct 1, 2006.

The CSAF directed re-alignment was a result of lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. The alignment under AFNORTH provides seamless command and control of Air Force forces supporting civil authorities during disaster and emergency response operations in the homeland.

Since 1989, AFNSEP has been conducting operations at Fort McPherson GA. In January 2008, AFNSEP will cease operations at Fort McPherson when it achieves initial operational capability and begin conducting operations at Tyndall. AFNSEP is currently on schedule to achieve fully operational capability at Tyndall in June 2008.

Responsible for directing, facilitating and coordinating Air Force assets in Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA), AFNSEP provides Air Force leadership critical situational awareness to and from the field.

"Cooperation and coordination between military and civilian authorities is crucial to our success when federal assistance is requested," said Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, AFNORTH Commander.

"The National Security Emergency Preparedness program ensures military resources get to the right place at the right time, and I am proud to have them as a part of this command," he said.

The AFNSEP program was developed in response to President Ronald Reagan's 1988 Executive Order 12656, which led to the expansion of the military's role beyond military defense to other avenues of national emergencies and to support civilian needs in natural disasters.

Since their formation, AFNSEP has supported more than 125 major disasters, including the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, several California wildfires, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, several hurricanes to include Andrew and Katrina, and typhoon relief across America and the Pacific region.

A major role of AFNSEP is the training and deployment of Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers, or EPLOs. AFNSEP EPLOs, normally senior Air Force Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) officers, coordinate military assistance to federal agencies and state governments when DSCA support is requested.

"Even with a small active duty staff AFNSEP ensures that the 100-plus EPLOs, assigned and located throughout the United States and Pacific region, are properly trained, equipped and ready for immediate response to support the DSCA mission," said Col. Gary Brand, AFNSEP Director.

"Our goal is to help prevent human suffering and save lives during times of great distress," said Col. Brand.