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EPLOs prepared to deploy

AF Satellite image

AF Satellite image

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla -- The Air Force is prepared to deploy Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers to various parts of the United States as tropical storms threaten the country.

These officers, if requested by FEMA and approved by the Secretary of Defense, stand ready to coordinate military-unique assets for rescue, relief and recovery efforts. They provide sourcing and coordination of Air Force assets and work closely with all branches of the U.S. military if in the event of a natural disaster.

"Air Force EPLOs deploy to provide defense support to civil authorities and are ready to go at a moments notice," said Col. Gary Brand, Air Force National Security Preparedness Agency Director. "We already have EPLOs in place to offer military solutions and capabilities to local, state and federal customers," said Brand.

EPLOs help coordinate the use of military personnel, equipment and supplies between FEMA and the Air Force. They provide behind-the-scene or front-line support and are the Air Force National Security Emergency Preparedness Agency's conduit to bringing Air Force capabilities to a relief effort.

Mostly Reservists from Department of Defense service components, EPLOs are geographically assigned to each state and the 10 FEMA Regional Coordination Centers, coming from a wide range of career fields, including air operations, logistics, medicine, security forces, and public affairs.

During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Air Force deployed 67 EPLOs to18 local, state and federal agencies and throughout affected areas.