Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, Department of Defense Press Briefing on Hurricane Michael Preparedness

Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command; Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis, Public Affairs Officer


LIEUTENANT COLONEL JAMIE DAVIS:  Good afternoon.  My name is Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis.  I handle the NORTHCOM account here at the Pentagon.  

Thank you for joining us today.  We're briefing on duty preparations for Hurricane Michael.  Joining us today will be General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of NORAD and NORTHCOM.  His bio can be found on defense.gov website.

We'll begin today's briefing with an opening statement then we'll open it up for questions.  During the Q&A portion, please state your name and outlet, and limit yourself to one question in follow-up, please.  

Please silence all electronic devices at this time and remove your badges for t.v. purposes.  If you need the Wi-Fi password it is in the back on the monitor there.  And please keep your questions on topic.  We're talking about hurricanes today.

And thank you for your time.  And as soon as General O'Shaughnessy is available, we'll get started.  Thank you.

GENERAL TERRENCE J. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Well, good afternoon and thank you, members of the Pentagon press corps, for your continued efforts to inform the public about the ongoing situation and the danger posed by Hurricane Michael.  

Given the high winds, storm surge and flash flooding, Hurricane Michael is now bringing to the Florida area, I echo FEMA Administrator Brock Long's comments about how crucial it is for the residents and the visitors in the area to listen to and follow the instructions of the local, state and travel officials.

I also want to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to the first responders at local, state and federal levels.  The region affected by Michael has tremendous capability that has been on display since well before Michael made landfall and continues right now as Michael does make landfall.

And last time we were here nearly a month ago, I explained how, in accordance with the National Response Framework along with FEMA, state governors and National Guard, DOD was responding to Hurricane Florence.  U.S. Northern Command task forces were anticipating requirements surrounding the storm and proactively positioning forces to respond immediately across the full spectrum of DOD capabilities at every level, by air in costal and flooded areas, and on the ground.  

And while every storm is different, and Michael presents challenges that were quite different than Florence, we are once again surrounding the storm with military capability that we can surge forward in support of FEMA, state and local officials.  And at the local level, the secretary of defense has given authority for lifesaving and life-sustaining actions to make DOD capabilities immediately available to our federal partners.

The region that is being affected by Michael has 10 major military bases and installations, and is home to more than 700,000 military members and their families.  Our military bases and installations are part of the communities.  And local commanders are coordinating with and postured to assist their fellow community members.

And at the state level, National Guard units under the authority of their governors are tremendously capable, ready and responding to their state's requirements.  Under the National Response Framework, working through FEMA and other emergency coordination networks, DOD is ensuring that we understand the governor's priorities and requirements, and ways that we can contribute to the overall effort.

Additionally, in close coordination with the chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Joe Lengyel, we are ensuring that our efforts are seamless and that the Department of Defense is optimally positioned to respond to any immediate requests for assistance.  And homeland defense is the number one priority for NORTHCOM and NORAD.  

At the same time, we are posturing Title 10 forces to support the FEMA-led federal response to Hurricane Michael, we are also posturing homeland defense assets and equipment to ensure we maintain our ability to defend the homeland.  And literally, as we speak right now, Hurricane Michael just went over Tyndall Air Force Base which is one of our key command and control nodes for our homeland defense mission.  And we were able to reposition our capable -- capable buildings that maintain the command and control at other locations.  So we seamlessly kept our ability to maintain the defense of our homeland.

And as I mentioned, we are surrounding the storm.  This is no small feat, given the unprecedented size and strength of Michael.  The storm is making landfall as a category forms -- category four storm in Florida.  But it's also important to know as it tracks to hit Georgia, it will still be a category two storm.  And then it will continue north through the Carolinas, and they're still recovering from Florence.

And one area we're focusing on is early response search and rescue, or SAR capabilities.  We have proactively prepositioned appropriate military capability and capacity to respond immediately from the north, from the south, from the east and from the west, across the full spectrum of DOD capabilities at every level, by air in coastal and flooded areas, and on the ground.

So let me give you some details.  From the south we -- we positioned at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida two pararescue teams supported by air refueling capability, with the ability to respond to any immediate requests anywhere in the affected areas.  From the east, we have 35 rotary wing aircraft and 80 high-water vehicles at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield that are able to respond in the air or on the ground to any immediate requests for search and rescue assistance.

And from the north, at FEMA's request, we've positioned commercial power vehicles in teams at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany.  And we've added critical supplies, commodities and high-water vehicles at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; North Aux-Field, South Carolina; and Fort Bragg, North Carolina -- the same incident staging bases that are part of the ongoing Hurricane Florence recovery efforts.

And then from the west, we're positioning additional pararescue teams supported by air refueling capability and swift water rescue boats to provide immediate lifesaving support for Hurricane Michael.

And this is, indeed, a collaborative effort and we're integrated with the U.S. Coast Guard as the lead federal agency for SAR.  The Coast Guard is directed by the Department of Homeland Security for disaster response.  And while we are different departments, let -- let there be no doubt that we are fully integrated together.

I want to give you a couple other examples of our DOD support.  Our Army Corps of Engineers has 80 personnel deployed to the affected area already.  They've also pre-positioned 55 generators with an additional 30 generators on the way.  

Our Defense Logistics Agency has pre-positioned fuel supplies at Maxwell Air Force Base and other areas, along with 145 additional generators.  And we also maintain C-17s on alert on a 3-hour string that can respond to any requirements.  And finally, we have air -- air and medical evacuation teams on standby, ready to respond if we need to evacuate anyone out of the area.  

And as you can see, we have these early response forces pre-positioned to rescue citizens in need as soon as possible after the storm's passage, from helicopters to high-water vehicles, to swift water boats and pararescue teams, we're postured to facilitate timely and effective military responses as soon as possible at the receipt of FEMA mission assignments.

Now, I'd like to take any questions you have about our preparations.

Bob?

Q:  General, Bob Burns with A.P.

You mentioned Tyndall and you said that the Homeland defense command know -- that's my word there, has been...

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Air -- Air operations center.

Q:  OK -- Air Operations Center.  Can you say where it's been moved, and also can you say at, both, Tyndall and Eglin-Hurlburt, have you, essentially, evacuated those -- those areas?  Or do they still have -- do they still operate?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Sure.  Let me start with the air operation center's capability and capacity.  We look across the continental U.S.  And we have other nodes in other places where we can actually do the same command and control mission set and, seamlessly, transition in.

Based on the classification, I'm not going to tell you the specific base that it transferred to, but we actually did that last night.  And so, before the storm ever arrived, we had actually transferred that command and control capability to another facility.

With respect to the -- each of the individual bases, each individual installation commander has given different directions to their bases.  And depending on exactly where they were, for example, Tyndall, right in the path of the storm, had most of the -- both, the personnel and families evacuate when others had less evacuated.  But that is up to the local installation commanders in coordination with the local officials, for example the Governor.

Q:  What did they do at Eglin and in Hurlburt?  What's happened there?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Again, specifically, I won't go into the specific details of what's happening at each base.  But I will say that each of them maintains their ability to maintain, from our vantage point, the mission set.

And if we are no longer to do the mission set from there, then we transition the mission to somewhere else.  And so, whilst the -- the aircraft may go, for example, and HURREVAC out, we will have other aircraft in a different location that will pick up that role.

Q:  But you can't talk, specifically, about Eglin?  Why -- why can't you talk about that?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  It's not within my purview.  It's a homeland defense.  And in this particular hurricane effort, we concentrate on the preparation for us to be able to respond to the local citizens, to respond to that. The installation commanders, very specifically, have the authority to make the decision of what they're going to do within their command.

LT. COL. DAVIS:  Tara Copp?

Q:  Hi sir, Tara Copp with the L.A. Times.  

I noticed you didn't mention any ships.  Is that a lesson learned from last time or are there just no ships that were, you know, nearby to respond?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  No.  Thanks for asking that because, in fact, for Florence, the ships were a particularly important part of our ability to surround the storm, if you will, with the -- both the Kershaw and the Arlington being a key part of that -- that plan.

In this particular case, just because of geography -- in fact, I'll use the Patrick Air Force Base forces.  That because of the way that geography is -- is -- is laid out, we're actually coming from the south even though they're not, necessarily, having to come from the sea, per say.

So, it really isn't a question about whether we needed ships or didn't need ships as much as it was, we have the ability to surround the storm, to get that capability in from all 360 degrees without, necessarily, having to use ships to do that.

Q:  And do you have any estimate of how many military personnel, from those 10 bases, did end up evacuating or getting out of the way of the storm?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  No.  I can't -- I can't give you the number or the total.  Now, mind you, of those installations, many are actually not directly in the path of that, and will be part of the response effort.  While some like Tyndall, again, right in the middle of the path of the storm.

Q:  And then, do you have any assets that are still tied up helping with Florence?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  We do, although, principally, that is now a recovery effort as it's been.  So, we're less involved in that.  For example, our Army Corps of Engineers is still involved because the rivers, frankly, have not completely subsided.

So, they continue to be -- in fact, it brings up a good point because our Army Corps of Engineers is looking at this storm and seeing how is this storm going to impact those very same river basins that a month ago, and a few weeks ago, we were very concerned about.  They're still a concern for us.

LT. COL. DAVIS:  Barbara Starr. 

Q:  Barbara Starr from CNN.  If you have planned against this storm, and you've looked at the storm, you called it unprecedented and dangerous.  Can you give us any of your analysis on just, you know, how serious this storm is, how dangerous it is?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Yes.  Thank you, Barbara, for that question.  I'll -- I'll bring a couple of things up.  The first, I think, is going to be, the way the storm developed was much different than we've -- we have seen in the past.  In the sense, it really started as a tropical storm, and then it went to category one.  And then it was a category two, and then a category three.  And before you know it, it was a category four.  In fact, it's at the high-end of category four.  

And so, I just think from the time factors, it was coming in at the time, about 12 knots.  It's up to up about 15 knots of coming in wind.  I think the time compression is a factor there.  And what -- where that becomes a factor is with the evacuation of some of the local populations.  

As one of my key concerns right now, going into this, is we haven't seen as robust of a evacuation response from the civilian population that we have seen in other storms.  And I think it's because of the way it kind of played out and that many are very well prepared to go through a cat 1 or a cat 2 storm.  But it just, very quickly, gained in intensity. 

And we're not seeing the numbers in the shelters, and we're not seeing the numbers necessarily going away.  So my -- my concern right now is there's many people in harms way, and so, that's why we want to have -- especially the search and rescue capability there.  And then, of course, the surge -- besides the high winds, of course, the wind speeds, everyone's familiar with, but there's a surge that's going to be a big factor.

And it's widespread.  It's all the way, you know, obviously, right in the -- in the area of Tyndall Air Force Base and going to Big Ben area there, but it's oddly, really from Pensacola all the way down through Tampa, where there'll be some impact from the surge.

And so, that combination of the wind, the surge, the lack of evacuations has us concerned, and we're -- and that's why we're so robustly prepared to respond.  

Q:  And that gets to my follow up, which is, you talked about search and rescue.  As you have planned against the storm and you don't see the massive civilization that you would have wanted see, what are you planning, what are you anticipating in terms of the overall full need for search and rescue?  

Do you have a sense of how many people, whether it's you or local authorities or whoever, how many people?  

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Right.  And -- and I will say that, for example, the state of Florida's very well prepared.  They have been through this many times; they have incredible capability and capacity.  And -- and frankly, normally, we would be less concerned because they have such robust capability, and we see it from the federal side, in coordination with FEMA.  

We're in direct support of the -- of the governors, in trying to anticipate their needs.  You can see from what you -- the reports have been out.  The governor is very concerned about the lack of evacuations.  They have that robust capability and capacity, they very well may be able to handle it within their own capability -- capacity, but that -- that -- because of that, that's why we are postured so strongly and have such a robust team around the perimeter.  

Q:  Do you have an estimate, though, perhaps, of -- from the federal military side, what -- given the capacity you have put there and that you have on standby, what could you accomplish in terms of how many people you could get out of harms way?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  I don't have an estimate put that way.  What -- what we would look at from more is our ability, as we look at both the local response capability, and as the storm comes through, we're going to see that, unlike Florence, where it kind of stayed right there, we can see it's already moving through.  

And so, the actual recovery effort I think will be significantly different.  I'm thinking that's why we're postured, not only with the search and rescue from the air and the helicopters, but also with the ground vehicles, because you can see it's already moving straight forward.

So I don't have a number for you, per say, but from a capacity standpoint, we are bringing in similar capability and capacity that we did for Florence, but slightly change in -- in the -- where our focus is because of the fast-moving nature of storm.  And we think we'll be able to get to it by land as well.

LT. COL. DAVIS:  Courtney then Joe.

Q:  (Inaudible) Courtney Kube with NBC News.  

Forgive me if I just -- if I missed this, but when you were running through all the assets you have, you talked about -- I think it was PJ teams to the west and some Swiftwater Rescue boats.  Where are the -- the -- where are they stationed?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Gulfport, Mississippi is where we're putting them.  And then we also have a -- Patrick Air Force Base was from the east side.

Q:  So there's two PJ teams at Patrick and then there's more at Gulfport?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Right, and there's -- actually there's even more throughout with both the -- from the Coast Guard standpoint from the -- I would use an example of our -- the great system that we have within the National Guard, as they feel that they need additional capability, they're able to put out to other states and find additional capabilities. 

So there's, for example, 15 additional helicopters coming in from other states to support Florida that will also be done in the Gulf Court area. 

Q:  (Inaudible) got 15 additional Nation Guard helicopters. 

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  That's correct. 

Q:  And then -- actually I think that was -- oh, oh, one other thing. Hunter and Fort Stewart, they're going to have rotary and high water -- I guess what I'm trying to figure out, and I know I asked you this after the -- with the Florence briefing, but, you know, one thing we're always trying to figure out is where are the first things going to be coming in from?

Do you have any sense of where the first search and rescue assets going to be?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Right, yes, I -- 

Q:  I know that's hard to ask (inaudible).

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Yes, it's a great question, but that's frankly part of the reason why we do the surrounding parts, because you don't really know how it's going to play out.  In this case, we think, based on just kind of the storm's coming, as it comes out they'll obviously will be able to come in from behind. 

And that's where the Patrick Force that's there will have the ability to come in ultimately from the south, that's why we have the refueling capability as well so we can traverse in from the -- from the Gulf itself as an example.  

But clearly as we see the track, it's a little bit better defined in this case than it was in Florence.  We see that we'll probably be able to come in from -- from the south and then ultimately from the -- from the west and the east additionally. 

Q:  And no -- no assets have been requested yet, right?  Everything is still being positioned but not -

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  From the federal -- from the federal standpoint and with respect to FEMA, our search and rescue capability that we have in place now has not been activated to be put in use yet.

(Inaudible) 

LT. COL. DAVIS:  Justin -- 

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  -- let me just add one thing to that, but that said, I want to be very clear all of the states and in particularly Florida, they have incredibly robust capabilities from both a vertical lift or a helicopter search and rescue, high water vehicles and the National Guard, just give an example.

Within -- within Florida, they've been authorized to -- 3,500 of their guardsman are authorized to be activated by the governor.  They have about 2,300 of them that were in position as the storm made landfall.  

So they have a very robust National Guard presence as -- literally as we speak right now actively engaged.  

LT. COL. DAVIS:  Jeff Schogol. 

Q:  Thank you.  General Jeff Schogol with Task & Purpose.  Do you have a total number of how many Title 10 personnel, aircraft and vehicles have been prepositioned?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  I do, as we sit right now, and this number will change dramatically over time depending on the demand signals and what we see.  Right now there's 2,216 active duty personnel that have been prepositioned.  There's 32 active duty helicopters, there's 240 active duty high water vehicles and 32 swift water boats from the Title 10 or active duty side.

But that number will change literally hourly as the demand signals come in.  But that's as we sit right now, that's what we have. 

Q:  And forgive a rookie question, but why does there need to be a federal response if -- you mentioned Florida has a robust capability and a lot of National Guardsmen, why -- why is there a role for the federal government here at all?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Right, well thanks for asking that question, Jeff.  It's really part of our national response framework.  And -- and by design, it starts at the local and the local level responds and then based on the magnitude of the storms, it sometimes exceeds their capability and capacity and therefore we have the federal system that has been in place to be able to augment and -- and help the states work their way through the challenges that they're faced with.

But the -- clearly the intent is that the states, in this case Florida, Georgia for example, are going to handle the initial response and then we're going to augment in coordination with FEMA, their capabilities. 

LT. COL. DAVIS:  Luis then Sylvie.

Q:  Luis Martinez, ABC, sir.  Has the TAG in Florida been made dual-hatted active duty commander (inaudible)?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Yes, thanks for asking at.  In fact I just got off the phone with General Ribas maybe 30 minutes ago, and he has been activated as the dual status commander within Florida. 

That gives us a tremendous opportunity as we bring out Title 10 forces in, we put them under General  Ribas and he can actually also command the Guard forces.  And that just -- that promotes a synergy of effort that we can be in line with exactly with the governor needs us and wants us focused on. 

And so that has been actually accomplished, the secretary of defense signed that yesterday, activated them today, and that's in place. 

Q:  Just has your -- have there been lessons learned from Florence just a month ago, because from our people on the ground when they were there in the immediate aftermath of that impact there, I think there was a misperception from the local population that -- that the U.S. military would flood the zone so to speak very quickly.

And yet that wasn't the case because the -- the state had its own plan for how to deal with it.  But how -- how do you overcome this perception that U.S. military should move in quickly?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  There was -- I think, and Florence is a good example, we -- we did in fact move in quickly.  We had a fairly robust response, but in this case again both North Carolina and South Carolina did a tremendous job, both with their local forces and with the National Guard force under the authorities of the governors.

And as designed, they are the first responders, they are the ones who go out and do the initial part, and then we are able to provide support.  I'll give you just a couple examples in this, so the Title 10 force is just 386 days throughout Florence, and that well might not be in the broader sense important from the overall response. 

This is critical to the members that were actually saved.  I'll also highlight the work that the local installations were able to do that work with the local community to be able to do that immediate response and help the first responders when they most needed that -- that help. 

And I will say, having personally gone down there and seen the devastation and seen the response of both the Title 10 as well as the Guard forces, I think it actually worked as it's designed to do and quite effectively. 

LT. COL. DAVIS:  Sylvie then Lucas. 

Q:  Hello, sir, Sylvie Lanteaume from AFP.  I know you cannot give a lot of dates about the variations on the bases.  But can you tell us how many planes for example you had to displace, or is -- tell if it's -- if it was something not habitual, not usual for you?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Well again, specifically to the individual installations and their response to it, that is under the individual authorities of the installation commander, and then through the services. 

What we are tied to is both what -- what capability we need to be able to have available for the states, and as far as the national response, and then what is the capability that we need to have for ongoing operations and how do we transition that to a different location if we need to for the installation. 

So specific to how many airplanes have -- have left and whatnot, I don't have an answer for you now. 

LT. COL. DAVIS:  Lucas.  

Q:  Lucas Tomlinson Fox News.  

On September 11th, the Russians flew a pair of nuclear capable bombers off the coast of Alaska.  Have they flown any flights like that since then?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Yes, well thanks for highlighting the fact that really us at NORTHCOM and NORAD, besides having robust responses to -- to the hurricane, we're very focused on the homeland defense mission and -- and our ability to deter and with -- especially as we've gone to this security environment that we're in today and the -- and a much environment that we're in just a few years ago.

And so I think as -- as you saw, we had a robust response to that particular event.  I would say we remain vigilant and we are able to respond to all of the events that have -- that have been in and around that timeline. 

Q:  Have there been any events since the September 11th (inaudible)?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  I wouldn't talk to the specifics of the different events we have.  I just say that it's been relatively consistent in the response that we've been seeing from the Russians and -- and the increase in the activity that we have seen over time. 

Q:  You said that it's been increased from the past few years, can you just talk generally about them?

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Yes, I think part of it was actually based on not only the geopolitical situation that we find ourselves in, but also the -- their capability and -- and they had been working on improving their capability, and as they did so, I think they had less capacity to actually -- to --to fly some of the routine sorties that they had done in the past.  

And so I think that was part of why it kind of dipped down and then returned back up to kind of historical levels.  But clearly, we see this as part of the strategic environment that we're in with Russia.  

Q:  (Inaudible) with Air Force Magazine.  Last month you said that you had an E-8 J STARS flying airborne C22; do you have that again for this?  And if -- if not, why?  

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Yes, great question.  And we do not actually have it flying here today.  What we do have, though, is we have E-2s.  Similar capability or -- or can give us some capability from -- from the Navy for the command and control aspect that is postured to be used.  

What we found in Florence was because it stayed and -- and moved very slowly, that we needed to bring in the capability and capacity that could see through the clouds that we could work for the command and control for their search and rescue.  

You can already see from Michael it is moving through so quickly that we won't -- will we have it on standby in case we need it?  We don't actually think we're going to have to fly that for those same reasons.  And we think it -- it's actually going to clear out and we'll be able to use more traditional assets to maintain our command and control, as well as to get situational awareness of the infrastructure and the things that have happened on the -- due to the wind.  

Q:  And the shift away from -- the transition away from Tyndall, you had mentioned, was that just the 601st?  Did that include the rescue coordination center as well?  

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  We -- we actually moved much of that to Meridian, and on the non-homeland defense aspect of this I can talk to it.  And some of -- for example, our search and rescue center right now is operating out of Meridian.  

LT. COL. DAVIS:  Ladies and gentlemen, we've got time for one more question.  Luis Martinez?  

Q:  I think I'll defer to Amanda, actually.  

LT. COL. DAVIS:  OK.  

Q:  (Inaudible) General O'Shaughnessy, I know you're still -- Amanda Macias from CNBC --  I know you're still in the planning stages, but in the wake of Florence, I'm just wondering about the funding for all of these movements, and you just got hit with two hurricanes at once, so.  

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  Right.  So specifically the way the -- the funding works, some of it comes under our own service authority, some will be refunded via FEMA.  And so for example, some of the activities that you see us doing, like evacuating out, that's just done through the normal service routine.  

And where we are actually refunded by FEMA is if we actually are given a mission assignment and a task, and then we're able to get funding back from FEMA in that regard.  

So -- so I think it's worth as advertised and I think it's a little bit of both.  As we -- turned out for Florence, where some of it is being done under Department of Defense authorities and -- and money, and some of it was done under -- will be done under FEMA as we work through our -- our -- through the process of getting a FEMA reimbursement.  

In this case, it'll play exactly the same.  Much of what were doing, we evacuated some of the force.  That'll be done under the Department of Defense.  Whereas if we pick up particular mission assignments, then we'll put in for reimbursement from FEMA for that specific activity.  

Q:  Tracking that the missions and the dollars are going to line up for those?  

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  We have.  In fact, I have some of the -- some -- some details.  But the reality of it is, all -- all of the requests that were given from mission assignments we -- we -- there's a dollar amount put to that.  And all of that is on track with FEMA for appropriate reimbursement.  

LT. COL. DAVIS:  Thank you, sir.  And do you have any final comments?  

GEN. O'SHAUGHNESSY:  I do.  Let me -- let me first thank you all for -- for allowing us to tell a little bit of what the Department of Defense is doing.  But also as importantly, I think just getting the word out to -- to the local populations and civilian about the severity of this storm and the concerns that we have relative to the -- the high winds, the surge and as quickly as it -- it came upon us and being able to respond.  

And I've certainly given you a quick and brief look at the robust capabilities and capacity that Department of Defense brings to support and respond immediately.  But we're also poised with our second echelon forces to prepare the deploy orders; we're basically on call.  And these forces represent the full spectrum of military capabilities such as medical, logistical, mobility, aviation and communications.  

And so over the upcoming days I would -- we will stay in close communication with you to describe the activities that we see as we watch what the storm does and we watch the reactions and the capability and capacity of the local and state authorities and how we will need to respond as well.  

And we feel that Department Defense is a vital partner for both state and local response efforts through FEMA.  And our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and their families are certainly part of the local communities.  

And for us, this is a no-fail mission.  It's personal to us and we remain capable, ready, and postured to support.  Thank you all very much.